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Kilvert's Diary 


Selections from the Diary of 
The Rev. Francis Kilvert 

Chosen, Edited & Introduced by 


Selections from the Diary of the Rev. Francis Kilvert 


Volume I: 1870-1871, in 1938 
Volume II: 1871-1874, in 1939 
Volume III: 1874-1879, in 1940 


Condition of Sale 

For copyright reasons, this 

book may not be issued on 

loan or otherwise except in 

its original soft cover 

Printed in Great Britain by 
Fletcher & Son Ltd, Norwich 

and bound by 
Richard Clay and Company Ltd, Bungay, Suffolk 


ROBERT FRANCIS KILVERT was born at Hardenhuish, or Harnish, 
near Chippenham in Wiltshire, on die 3rd December, 1840. He 
was the second child of the rector of the parish, the Rev. Robert 
Kilvert, and of Thermuthis, daughter of Walter Coleman of 
Langley Ktzurse and Thermuthis Ashe of Langley Burrell. The 
Kilverts, originally a Shropshire family, had migrated to Bath in 
the eighteenth century; the Colemans and Ashes had been long 
settled in Wiltshire. Francis Kilvert spent his early years at Harden- 
huish, was educated privately, went in due course to Wadham 
College, Oxford, and entered the Church. 

Here is a brief outline of his brief career. His first curacy was at 
Langley Burrell (1863-64), of which place his father had become 
rector. In 1865 he went to Clyro in Radnorshire, and was curate 
there for seven years. From 1872 to 1876 he was back at Langley 
Burrell, again as curate to his father. In the latter year he was 
presented to the living of St. Harmon's in Radnorshire, and in 
November, 1877, became vicar of Bredwardine, on the Wye in 
Herefordshire. On the 20th August, 1879, he married Elizabeth 
Anne (1846-1911), daughter of John Rowland, of Holly Bank, 
Wootton, near Woodstock: he had met her during a visit to Paris. 
They spent their honeymoon in Scotland, and on tie 23rd Septem- 
ber he died suddenly of peritonitis. He was buried at Bredwardine. 
Ttere were no children of the marriage, and Mrs. Kilvert, who 
returned to Wootton and devoted herself to good works, did not 
marry again. 

The Diary, which paints a unique picture of country life in mid- 
Victorian times, has come to be recognized as a minor classic: its 
author has been compared to Dorothy Wordsworth, whom he 
admired, and even to Pepys. It was kept; no doubt continuously, 
from January, 1870, until March, 1879, but two portions are 
missing - the first covering the period between September, 1875, 
and March, 1876, and the second that between June, 1876, and 
December, 1877. It is closely written in 22 notebooks, from which 
a selection, made by the present editor, was published by Jonathan 
Cape in three volumes in 193 8, 1939 and 1940. Had the whole Diary 


been printed, it would have filled nine printed volumes. Since the 
present selection amounts to such a small part of the whole it cannot 
be said to give more than a partial view of Kilvert's life, character 
and environment: it does not, for example, do justice to his assiduity 
as a parish priest, but it does include many of the best entries in 
the Diary and it gives much detail about Clyro and Langley 
Burrell, the two places now chiefly associated with his name. 

A few notes on some of the persons mentioned in the Diary may 
be of interest to the reader. Francis Kilvert (familiarly known as 
'Frank') had one brother, Edward Newton ('Teddy' or 'Perch'), and 
four sisters Thermuthis ('Thersie'), who married the Rev. W. R. 
Smith of Monnington-on-Wye; Emily ('Emmie'), who married 
Samuel Wyndowe and went to India; Frances ('Fanny 7 ), who 
became a Clewer Sister; and Sarah Dorothea Anne ('Dora'), who 
married James Pitcaim. 'Mr. Venables' was Richard Lister 
Venables, the vicar of Clyro. Henry Dew (1819-1901) was 
rector of Whitney from 1843 until his death. He married 
Mary Monkhouse, Wordsworth's niece. His sister Louisa married 
William Latham Bevan (1821-1908), vicar of Hay, canon of St. 
David's, and archdeacon of Brecon: they lived at Hay Castle where 
Kilvert was a frequent visitor. Daisy (or Fanny) Thomas of Llati- 
thomas died unmarried. 

The present selection appears by permission of Kilvert's nephew, 
Mr. T. Perceval Smith, to whom my thanks are once more due. 
Since the appearance of the three-volume edition I have had the 
benefit of interesting information, which I gratefully acknowledge, 
from Miss M. A. Rowland, a niece of Mrs. Francis Kilvert, and 
from Brigadier E. Felton Falkner, C.M.G., D.S.O., a relation both 
of Kilvert and of the novelist John Meade Falkner. 


StMichaef'\ Kington Langleyi 



Tuesday, 8 February 

From Wye Cliff to Pont Faen. Miss Child in great force. She 
showed me her clever drawings of horses and told me the adventures 
of the brown wood owl 'Ruth* which she took home from here last 
year. She wanted to call the owl 'Eve' but Mrs. Bridge said it should 
be called *Ruth'. She and her sister stranded in London at night went 
to London Bridge hotel (having missed the last train) with little 
money and no luggage except the owl in a basket. The owl hooted 
all night in spite of their putting it up the chimney, before the 
looking glass, under the bedclothes, and in a circle of lighted candles 
which they hoped it would mistake for the sun. The owl went on 
hooting, upset the basket, got out and flew about the room. The 
chambermaid almost frightened to death dared not come inside the 
door. Miss Child' asked the waiter to get some mice for 'Ruth' but 
none could be got. 

Wednesday, 9 February 

A very cold night and a slight shower of snow fell early this 
morning. Then it froze all day. The mountains all white. Went up 
the Cwm to White" Ash. Old Sarah Probert groaning and rolling 
about in bed. Read to her Mark vi and made sure she knew the 
Lord's Prayer by heart, making her repeat it. Hannah Jones smoking 
a short black pipe by the fire, and her daughter, a young mother 
with dark eyes and her hair hanging loose, nursing her baby and 
displaying her charms liberally. 

Went with the Venables to dine at Whitney Court, driving in the 
mail phaeton and sitting behind with Charlie. Bitterly cold with a 
keen E. wind but we were well wrapped up and the hood kept the 
wind off us going. Miss Jane from the Rectory at dinner. Lent Miss 
Dew Robertson's Lectures on Corinthians. The Squire and his 
mother made the rest of the party. A grand night with stars 
glittering frosty keen and we came home at a rattling pace. 

Friday, n February 

Last night broke tie key of my musical box whilst winding 
the box up. Went down at midnight and tried to turn the broken 
key barrel with the tongs unsuccessfully, and the teeth of the 


comb stuck in the midst of a tune hitched on the spikes all night. 
Very bad for the box, so I got up early and directly after breakfast 
ran over to Hay across the fields in a keen white bright frost. Bevan 
the watchmaker wound up the box, set it right and mended the key. 
Bought 4 valentines at Herthen's after searching through a tumbled 
heap for a long time and ordered some cheese at Hadley's. Coming 
back the hills were lovely. The morning spread upon the mountains, 
beautiful Clyro rising from the valley and stretching away north- 
ward dotted with white houses and shining with gleams of green on 
Kills and dingle sides, a tender blue haze over the village and woods 
in the valley and Clyro Court a dim grey. 

Baskerville in his brougham with the old bay cob came to the 
door at 6.3. Very cold drive, Mrs. Bevan, Mary, and the Crichtons 
arrived before us all in Mrs. Allen's yellow chariot. The Welneld 
(Edward) Thomases staying in the house. Mr. and Capt. Thomas 
from Llanthomas. Mrs. and Miss Thomas of Llwyn Madoc staying in 
the house. They came in last and we went into dinner immediately. 
Miss Thomas looking very pretty and nice in blue silk high dress, 
sat opposite me at dinner and afterwards when we came into the 
drawing-room she came up and shook hands cordially and kindly, 
talked to me till Baskerville's carriage was announced. It was a very 
happy evening. 

Septuagesima Sunday, St. Valentine's Eve 

Preached at Clyro in the morning (Matthew xiv, 30). Very few 
people in Church, the weather fearful, violent deadly E. wind and 
the hardest frost we have had yet. "Went to Bettws in the afternoon 
wrapped in two waistcoats, two coats, a muffler and a mackintosh, 
and was not at all too warm. Heard the Chapel bell pealing strongly 
for the second time since I have been here and when I got to the 
Chapel my beard moustaches and whiskers were so stiff with ice 
that I could hardly open my mouth and my beard was frozen on to 
my mackintosh. There was a large christening party from Llwyn 
Gwilym. The baby was baptized in ice which was broken and 
swimming about in the Font. 

Monday, St. Valentine's Day _ -_ 

A pretty flower Valentine from Incognito. Walked to Hay with 
Mr. V. We went to Williams the drapers' and looked at blankets, 
sheets and coverlets, as we propose to spend some of the surplus 


Communion Alms in bedding for the poor people who want it 
much this vigorous weather. Called at the castle. 

Tuesday, 15 February 

Visited Edward Evans in the village. He was ill with cold from 
this vicious poisonous E. wind, and sitting before the fire. Finding 
they have no blankets but only sheets and a coverlet I gave him an 
order on Williams for a pair of blankets and I hope his wife will 
fetch them this afternoon. Coming back called on the Lewises at the 
Bronith and the old Peninsular veteran. The red round moon 
hanging over Clifford Hill. Owls hooting in the dusk across the 
dingles and from the height of Cefh Cethin. Volunteer band in Hay 
playing across the valley, a review in preparation for a Volunteer 
Concert to-night. 

Wednesday, 16 February 

At Burnt House James Phillips at home, a long legged Radnor- 
shire man who said he had never been drunk. Told me how Mr. 
Ffoulkes had dived to the bottom of Craig-pwll-du and very 
nearly getting entangled in roots and weeds at the bottom, had 
declared he would not take England to do it again. Fine mild 
afternoon and a strange blue light upon woods and dingles. 

Thursday, 17 February 

Edward Evans better and .very thankful for wine and a pair of 
blankets. Visited Sackville Thomas, Jinny very funny and in good 
spirits. Polly saying hymns very fast. Sackville sitting hat on by a 
scorching fire and the venomous east wind blowing full in at the 
open door. Jinny says 'unhackle' for undress and 'to squeeze your 
ears against your head and say nothing' means to be discreetly silent 
and cautiously reticent. Market people passing by open door with 
shawls and handkerchiefs tied over hats and bonnets. Next to Mrs. 
Bowen's Bird's Nest. Then to Lower Cwmbythog. Grand hand- 
some Mrs. Evans nursing her baby hi the dark ruinous old hovel, a 
brave patient woman and practically religious. Gave Mrs. Evans an 
order for 2 pairs o sheets. Slithering down the steep rocky lane full 
of a torrent of ice. How this poisonous E. wind strains and weakens 
die eyes. 

Sexagesima Sunday, 20 February 

Drunk too much port after dinner at Cae Mawr last night and a 
splitting headache all today in revenge. Eyes better but not much. 


Everything in a daze and dazzle and I could hardly see to read. Got 
through the services somehow, but in the afternoon came to a 
deadlock in the middle of the ist Lesson. A blessed change in the 
weather. "Wind westerly and no longer deadly poison. 

Monday, 21 February 

My carpet bag went up to Llysdinam in the Whitechapel, Brewer 
driving. Mr. V. and he drove down and picked it up. Mr. V. went 
to a magistrates' meeting in Hay where the Glasbury policeman was 
tried for stealing 2 German silver spoons worth pd a piece. I joined 
him at Hay (having walked over) at 1.15 and we went up to 
Llysdinam together by that train. 

Tuesday, 22 February 

Reading Quarterly Review. Mrs. V. went out for a drive, on the 
RJiayader road, the carriage and cushions thoroughly aired and 
warmed with hot water bottles and warming pans. 

After luncheon went for a walk with Mr. V. to the top of Drum 
du. When we got to the cairn Plynlimmon was quite visible, but 
only the ghost of Cader Idris to be seen. We went away dis- 
appointed but had not gone far before the clouds suddenly lifted 
and a sun burst lit up grandly the great snowslopes of round-backed 
Plynlimmon and the vast snowy precipices of the giant Cader Idris 
near 50 miles away. We hurried back to the cairn and had a glorious 
view to N. and W. of the Fans of Brecon and Carmarthen. Mr. V. 
fell heavily on his back head over heels among the stones of the 
cairn, his foot having slipped, but he saved his opera glasses. 

Thursday, 24 February 

Reading the Mordaunt Warwickshire Scandal Case. Horrible 
disclosures of the depravity of the best London society. 

[This remarkably squalid case came in for much public notice. Sir Charles Mor- 
daunt of Walton Hall in Warwickshire petitioned for a divorce from his wife on the 
grounds of her adultery with several persons, two of whom were named as co- 
respondents. The question of Lady Mordaunt's sanity was much discussed, and among 
other points that emerged in the evidence were that on a visit to the Crystal Palace 
she had sat down on a gravel-walk, and that another time she had stuck a branch of a 
fir-tree in her boots. She had more than once received the Prince of Wales as a caller 
in her husband's absence, and the petitioner said in evidence that he had warned her 
against continuing that acquaintance, and that he had had his reasons for doing so 
The Prince appeared as a witness, and his letters to Lady Mordaunt were made public. 
They were trivial and discreet, and their nearest approach to intimacy was an acknow- 
ledgment of a present of some Very pretty mufietees'. He seems to have sent her a 
valentine, and she had one of his handkerchiefs. The Times thought he had been 'too 


careless of his reputation' and said he had 'learnt by a painful experience how 

fully he must walk whose life is the property and the study of the world'. On the 
26 February the same paper said 'we have had more than a week's surfeit of details not 
easily characterized in decent language', and 'we might have been spared the publicity 
of details leading to no result save that of injury to public morality'.] 

Writing a sermon for Ash Wednesday. Dined with Mrs. V. who 
drove down with Brewer from Llysdinam in the yellow Pertheart 
with the grey mare this afternoon. A lovely evening and the Black 
Mountain lighted up grandly, all the furrows and water courses 
clear and brilliant. People coming home from market, birds 
singing, buds bursting, and the spring air full of beauty, life and 
hope. Farm labourers threshing with the machines at Llowes 
Court. Ash and beech and elms being felled in Clyro Court lands, 
and going away in timber carriages. Alders being cut down on the 
left bank of Wye. A market woman's chestnut horse restive in the 
road and market folk on foot winding their way home through 
fields by Wyeside. 

Saturday, 26 February 

A lovely warm morning so I set off to walk over the hills to 
Colva, taking my luncheon in my pocket, half a dozen biscuits, two 
apples and a small flask of wine. .Took also a pocket book and opera 
glasses. Went on up the Green Lane. Very hot walking. At the 
Green Lane Cottage found Mrs. Jones and a daughter at home 
sewing. Price Price sitting half hidden in the chimney corner but 
alas there was no Abiasula as the last time I was there. Price Price 
something like his sister Abiasula. A sturdy boy, with a round rosy 
good-humoured face and big black eyes, volunteered to guide me to 
Colva Church. So he came out of nis chimney corner in the ingle 
nook and we started at once, accompanied by a grey and black 
sheepdog puppy. We were out on the open mountain at once. 
There was the brown withered heather, the elastic turf, the long green 
ride stretching over the hill like a green ribbon between the dark 
heather. There was the free fresh fragrant air of the hills, but, oh, for 
the gipsy lassie with her wild dark eyes under her black hood. As 
we went down the Fuallt a grouse cock uttered his squirling crow 
and flew over the crest of the hill. I never heard a grouse crow 
before. 'What's that bird crying? 9 1 said to the boy. 'A grouse,' he 
said, adding, 'There he goes over the bank. They be real thick 


Tried to get across the swift Arrow (swollen by the junction of 
the Glasnant just above) by climbing along a rail but we failed and 
had to go up a meadow till we got above the meeting of the waters, 
when we crossed the Glasnant on a hurdle laid flat over the stream 
and then we jumped the Arrow. Up the steep breast of the Reallt to 
Dol Reallt and along the road to the Wern and Bryntwyn from 
whence a field path leads to Colva Church. Here Price Price left me 
after showing me across one field. I asked him to have some bread 
and cheese and beer at the Sun Inn, Colva, but he would not and 
could scarcely be prevailed on to take sixpence. Tried the echo in the 
field against the belfry and west end of the poor humble dear little 
white-washed church sequestered among its large ancient yews. 
The echo was very dear, sharp and perfect. Richard Meredith told 
me of this echo. Mrs. Phillips, the landlady of the Sun, was 
much frightened when I asked for her husband, uneasy and nervous 
lest I should have come to apprehend him for having been in a TOW 
or doing something wrong. But when I said I wanted the words of 
an old song, she was greatly relieved and said at once, *Oh I know 
who you are. You are the gentleman from Clyro.* I laughed and 
she began to smile. Mrs. Phillips took me into the parlour where 
I sat down, tore a leaf out of my pocket book and wrote with my 
address a request that Phillips would send me by post I . the song about 
our Saviour, 2. the song about Lazarus, 3. the song about King 
James and the Tinker. Mrs. Phillips brought me a pint of excellent 
ligfit bright beer, some hard sweet homebaked bread, and some hard 
cheese, carrying the bread and cheese in her arms as she ran in with 
it, as I was in a hurry to push on. 

Reached Clyro just in time to dress for dinner at Cae Mawr. But 
as I was going out I was sent for to baptize Mrs. Jones the jockey's 
baby opposite and I was only too thankful that it was so near and that 
I had not to right about face and march back up to the top of Clyro 
Hill again. The child was said to suffer from convulsions, so I 
baptized it, but it was probably quite well. The name selected was 
as far as I could make out Mahalan which Mrs. Jones declared to be 
the name of one of Cain's wives, on the authority of a book she had 
read called the Life of Abel. She called her elder girl Thirza, which 
she says was the name of Cain's other wife. Not a happy allusion. 
March Eve, Monday 

In Chain Alley, Hay, at Prissy Prosser's door, saw Marianne Price 

I87 o] OLD SONGS 13 

grown tall and slight, her dark large eyes as beautiful soft and pure 
as ever. 

Home after midnight in wind and rain, cheered by the solitary 
light in Hay looking towards the Moors. Wind rustling through 
trees at Petjer's pool, branches creaking loud. 

Shrove Tuesday, St. David's Day, Leek Day, March Day 

Reading Edmund Jones' curious book which I brought from 
Hardwick Vicarage last night, an account of Aberystruth Parish, 
Monmouthshire. A ludicrous naive simplicity about his reflections 
and conclusions. He thinks Providence took particular pains in 
making his parish which he thinks one of the most wonderful in the 
world. Writing a sermon for Ash Wednesday. 
Ash Wednesday, 2 March 

Received by post through Kington from the clerk and publican 
of Colva two old songs, imperfect but very curious and of some 
merit. One about our Saviour has the true ballad swing, the other 
about Dives and Lazarus. The clerk had forgotten the song about 
King James and the Tinker but said 'he would try to think of him'. 

Thursday, 3 March 

Luncheon at 12, walked to Hay in rain and went to the Castle. 
The 4 girls singing Pilgrims of the Night round die organ in the hall, 
Mary playing. Mary was very kind and lent me the best volume of 
Mrs. Barrett Browning's Poems. I read aloud to them my Colva 
Ballads which interested them much. Bought 2 copies of Alone in 
London and took one down to Prissy Prosser's for Marianne Price. 
The child was out, her grandmother sent for her and she came 
running out of breath and radiant with delight. Her lovely dark eyes 
lighted up at die thought of a new book and looked shyly up to 
thank me from under her long silky lashes. 

Friday, 4 March 

A wild stormy night. The Dulas, Clyro, roaring red, and the 
Wye surging broad yellow and stormy. Heaven pity the Pilgrims of 
the Night who had no shelter. Pussy had a new brass comb in her 
clustering light curly hair and her blue bright eyes looked up very 
archly. The Dingle Flower of fair Llandovery goes back to her 
home among the sweet Carmarthenshire hills tomorrow. I took 
her Alone in London as a Sunday School prize and wrote her name in 
it. Her delight was unbounded and she evidendy felt much more 


than she said, for she was very shy and the English did not come 

Called at Cae Mawr. The Morrells told me that Mrs. and the 
Miss Baskervilles have returned suddenly from St. Leonards on Sea, 
having been routed horse and foot with great slaughter and loss by 
bugs or fleas. They intended to stay at St. Leonards a month or 
more longer. 

Saturday, 5 March 

Very cold last night, and sharp frost and the day brilliant and the 
air exquisitely clear though the wind was East. The view from the 
banks lovely, the river winding down from Glasbury like a silver 
serpent, flowing beneath at the foot of the poplars. Hay in the 
distance bright in brilliant sunshine. Every watercourse clear upon 
the mountains in the searching light. As the sun went down a pink 
and then a deep purple glow bathed the mountains and Cusop Hill 
and a keen frost set in. The rich pink and deep purple light very 
unusually splendid. 

i Sunday in Lent, 6 March 

After evening church, visited the Pughs and found Mary at home. 
She gave me a more extraordinary account than any that I have yet 
heard about the falling of the gable at Clyro Court, the house- 
keeper's marvellous descent through the floor into the kitchen from 
her bedroom, during the great storm on the morning of January 8th, 

Tuesday, 8 March 

Yesterday there was an inquest at the Blue Boar, Hay, on the body 
of the barmaid of the Blue Boar who a day or two ago went out at 
night on an hour's leave, but went up the Wye to Glasbury and 
threw herself into the river. She was taken out at Llan Hennw. She 
was enceinte. Met the Morreli children returning from a walk with 
the first white violets and primroses. 

Thursday, 10 March 

A heavenly day, lovely and warm, real spring. People busy in 
their gardens planting and sowing. Everyone rejoicing in the 
unclouded splendid weather, and congratulating each other on it in 
their greetings on the road. The roads lively with market women 
riding to the Hay. A woman on a cream coloured horse with black 

j8 7 o] THE HOUSE BY THE BOG 15 

mane and tail riding past die school and alternately in sunshine and 
the shadow of the Castle clump over the hill. 

John Watkins in the Cwm no better, staggering round and round 
his house whirling his head round about like a mad 'man or a Polar 
bear, unable to sit down, he says, so kneeling on the floor sometimes 
to rest himself. He gets no rest in bed or at night, dreads the coming 
on of darkness and is haunted by evil thoughts and dreams. He 
seems to be suffering from despondency and remorse, and is plainly 
in a most miserable pitiable state of mind and body. 
Wednesday, 16 March 

I ate so much hare that I could hardly walk and saw stars, but at 
4 went up the hill by the Bron, Penllan and Little Wem y Pentre. 
Round the corner of the Vicar's Hill to Little Twyn y Grain, passing 
by the Great Twyns which I am happy to see is falling into ruin, the 
window frames falling in. How well I remember and how short 
a time ago it seems though nearly five years. I never pass the house 
without thinking of that afternoon when after neglecting Margaret 
Thomas' dying son for a long time I went to call and was inexpres- 
sibly shocked to find that he had died only ten minutes before . . . 

Faint sunshine on Bryngwyn Hill and a cold cheery gleam of 
water from the great peat bog below on the edge of which stands the 
grey clustei of buildings and the tall dark yew of Llanshifr. I went 
down there and waded across the yard to the house through a sea of 
mud and water. The kitchen was very dark, the bank rising steep in 
front of the window. Mrs. Morgan gave me some tea and cake. On 
the settle sat a man perfectly still, silent and in such a dark comer 
that I could not see his face. Morgan showed me the remains of the 
moat, where the Scotch pedlar was hidden after being murdered for 
the sake of his pack while lodging in the house and where his skeleton 
was found when the moat was cleared out. The moat that is left 
is a broad deep formidable ditch and rather a long pond at one end of 
the house and full of water. Llanshifr a fearfully wet swampy 
place, almost under water and I should think very unhealthy. One 
of the twin yews was lately blown down and cut up into gate posts 
which will last twice as long as oak. The wood was so hard that 
Morgan said it turned many of the axes as if they were made of lead. 
I wonder in which of these yews Gore hid the penknife before his 
death which made him restless as hidden iron is said to do, and 
caused his spirit to come back rummaging about the house and 


premises and frightening people out of their wits. It was getting 
dusk as I left Llanshifr and after I had plunged about for some time 
in the swampy Wern up to my ancles in water I lost my bearings and 
missed the way, so that I might have been belated but that I heard 
the welcome clank of plough chains as the team came down home 
md Joe the Llanshifr ploughman directed me up to the Holly House. 
Struck over the top of the Vicar's Hill and as I passed Cross Ffordd , 
the frogs were croaking, snoring and bubbling in the pool under the 
full moon. 

Tuesday, 22 March 

Called at John Watkins in the Cwm. He was just in the same 
abject wretched, pitiable state, shaking from head to foot fancying 
himself unable to sit down or keep still, remorse gnawing at his 
mind. Neighbours say he is 'roguish' and shams, probably it is the 
running of insanity. Went on to White Ash and directly old Sarah 
Probert heard me come in she began to groan and roll about in the 
bed. I told Sarah to cheer up but she rolled and groaned all the more 
and said I was a 'rum *un* and a *Jb' s comfort*. 

The Clyro women stride about the village like storks. The indus- 
trious blacksmith chinks away at his forge night and morning late 
and early, and the maidens and mothers go up and down the water 
steps with their pitchers continually. Heavy loads of timber, large 
long trees on the timber carriages grinding through Clyro village 
every evening from Cross Ffordd and Cabalva. 

Wednesday, 23 March 

Looked in upon the old soldier and stayed there reading and chat- 
ting to him an hour and a half. Talking of wolves he said he remem- 
bered when the English army was in Spain at Correa, every night 
soon after sunset he used to see the wolves come down to drink at 
the river. Then they would walk up the hill again into the coverts 
and vineyards, sometimes there were 4 or 5 of them at once. They 
were like mastiffs and as big. The soldiers used to scare them by 
snapping the locks of their flint muskets and making a flash in the 

Saturday, 26 March 

A delicious day upon Clyro Hill. It was sunny and warm under 
the sheltering bank and woods of Wern Vawr and pleasant walking 
along the low road leading to the old farm house with its large 

i8 7 o] CHARLES ITS JUG 17 

projecting and high-gabled porch. There was a stir ahout tbe house 
and yard. They had killed a fat stall-fed heifer yesterday and a party 
of people much interested in the matter, among them old Jones 
and his wife, were busy cutting up the carcase in the barn. A man 
went to and fro from the bam to the house with huge joints of beef 
having first weighed them on the great steelyard which hangs at the 
barn door. In the house Mrs, Jones of New Building an old 
daughter of the house was engaged in the great kitchen taking up 

into an inner room or larder to put them in salt. By the fire sat a 
young woman who hid her face and did not look up. She had a baby 
lying across her lap. 

I decided to explore the lane running parallel with the brook 
towards Painscastle and discover the old Rhos -Goch Mill. There 
was a good deal of water and suddenly I came upon the mill pond 
and the picturesque old mill with an overshot wheel. I crossed one 
of the streams on a larch felled across the water for a bridge and came 
back round tbe front of the cosy old picturesque ivy-grown mill 
house with its tall chimney completely covered with ivy. A hand- 
some young man with a fine open face, fresh complexion and 
dressed as a miller was having a romp with a little girl before the 
door. He said his name was Powell, his father was dead and he 
carried on the business and with the most perfect politeness and 
well bred courtesy asked me to come in and sit down. So this is 
the place that I have heard old Hannah Whitney talk of so often, 
the place where the old miller sleeping in the mill trough used to see 
the fairies dancing of nights upon the mill floor. 

At Rhos Goch Lane House no one was at home so I stuck an ivy 
leaf into the latch hole. 

Round the corner of the Vicar's Hill to Cefii y Blaen where I 
found Davies, the new tenant of the Pentre. While talking to Davies 
outside I heard old William Pritchard within coughing violently. 
I went in and sat some time talking to him and his niece Mrs. Evans. 
He remembers the old house of Cefh y Blaen and the large famous 
room which he says was 20 yards long and was used for holding a 
Court of Justice in for the country round in the time of Charles II. 
I asked him if he had ever heard any talk of Charles n ever having 
been about in this country. 'Oh yes,* he said, 1 have a jug that the 
King once drunk out of at Blaen cerdL He had breakfast that day 


in Brecon, dined at Gwernyfed and slept at Harpton, passing 
through Newchurch. His army was with him and riding two and 
two in the narrow lanes the line reached from Pen Vaen in New- 
church, through the village up to Blaen cerdi. At Blaen cerdi all the 
farm people, boys and girls ran out to see the King pass. The King 
was afoot. He stopped opposite the house and asked my ancestress 
Mary Bayliss to give him something to drink. She went to the 
house and fetched him milk and water in this jug which has been 
handed down with the tradition in my family. I have always heard 
that this Mary Bayliss was an extraordinarily fine beautiful woman. 
I never learnt that the King gave her anything in return for the 
draught. Before this jug came into my possession it was broken by 
some water being left to freeze in it, but it can easily be cemented, 
being in two large pieces, the bottom having been broken off. 
David Jones the auctioneer in Hay offered me a great deal of money 
for the jug. 

'Charles n was in hiding for some time in this country and went 
about in disguise as a lady's servant; Once when he was in the 
pantry with the buder of the house where they were staying he 
asked the butler if he would give him a glass or wine. The butler 
said in a meaning way, "You are able to command what wine you 

Monday , 28 March 

Williams says the petty chief great landlords were called 'Nor- 
mandy Kings*. One of them lived at Cem y Blaen, one at Llanshifr, 
another at Great Gwernfydden. The one who lived at Painscastle 
was a giant. This giant carried off to Painscastle 'screaming and 
noising' Miss Phillips of the Screen Farm near Erwood whom he 
found disporting herself with her lover Arthur on or at Bychllyn 
Pool. Arthur sent for help to Old Radnor Castle and Cem y Blaen. 
At Cefh y Blaen there were then 40 men each 7 feet high. The 
giant on the other hand sent for succour to Court Evan Gwynne 
where there was an 'army', also to Hay Castle and Lord Clifford of 
Clifford Casde. While these hostile forces were converging upon 
Painscastle, a woman in the castle favoured the girl's escape and 
dressed her in man's clothes to this end. Arthur, watching for her 
outside and not knowing of the disguise, seeing what he thought 
was a man and one of his enemies coming out of the castle shot his 


lover dead with an arrow. Arthur then furious stormed the castle 
with a battle axe: took it and killed the giant. Next day the opposing 
parties arrived at the BJios Goch, there was a fearful battle near 
Rhyd Llyden and the Painscastle party was defeated with great 
slaughter by the forces from Old Radnor and Gem y Blaen. 

Tuesday, 29- March 

Turned aside into the meadow to look at the great stone of Cross 
Ffordd. It is a long time since I stood beside it, and I had forgotten 
that the stone was so large. I suppose no one will ever know now 
what the grey silent mysterious witness means, or why it was set 
there. Perhaps it could tell' some strange wild tales and many 
generations have flowed and ebbed round it. There is something 
very solemn about these great solitary stones which stand about the 
country, monuments of some one or something, but the memory 
has perished and the history is forgotten. 

Home at 6, dressed for dinner. At 6.30 Charles with the mail 
phaeton and the two mares, grey and bay, dashed up to the door in 
grand style. I was ready and away we went to the Vicarage to pick 
up the Vicar who took the reins. At Peter's Pool we overtook and 
passed at a dashing pace the Clyro Court brougham with one horse 
wherein were the Squire and Mr. Frank Guise the recorder of Here- 
ford bound like ourselves for dinner at Oakfield. It was refreshing 
to see the Vicar's stylish equipage driven by riimself with two 
servants behind, dashing past the small humble turn-out of the 
Squire, rather reversing the usual order of things. 

Thursday, April Eve 

Read to old Price the keeper and then walked to Hay across the 

In Hadley's shop I met Dewing who told me of a most extra- 
ordinary misfortune that befell Pope the curate of Cusop yesterday 
at the Whitney Confirmation. He had one candidate Miss Stokes 
a farmer's daughter and they went together by train. Pope went 
in a cutaway coat very short, with his dog, and took no gown. 
The train was very late. He came very late into church and sat 
down on a bench with the gkl cheek by jowl. When it came to 
his turn to present his candidate he was told by the Rector (Henry 
Dew) or someone in authority to explain why he came so late. 
The Bishop of Hereford (Atky) has a new fashion of confirming 


only two persons at a time, kneeling at the rails. The Bishop had 
marked two young people come in very late and when they came 
up to the rails he thought from Pope's youthful appearance and from 
his having no gown that he was a young farmer candidate and 
brother of the girl. He spoke to them severely and told them to 
come on and kneel down for they were extremely late. Pope tried 
to explain that he was a clergyman and that the girl was his candi- 
date but the Bishop was overbearing and imperious and either did 
not hear or did not attend, seeming to think he was dealing with a 
refractory ill-conditioned youth. 'I know, I know,' he said. 'Come 
at once, kneel down, kneel down.' Poor Pope resisted a long time 
and had a long battle with the Bishop, but at last unhappily he was 
overborne in die struggle, lost his head, gave way, knelt down and 
was confirmed there and then, and no one seems to have interfered to 
save him, though Mr. Palmer of Eardisley and others were sitting 
close by and the whole Church was in a titter. It is a most un- 
fortunate thing and will never be forgotten and it will be unhappily 
a joke against Pope all his life. The Bishop was told of his mistake 
afterwards and apologized to Pope, though rather shortly and 
cavalierly. He said, what was quite true, that Pope ought to have 
come in his gown. But there was a little fault on all sides for if the 
Bishop had been a little less hasty, rough and overbearing in his 
manner things might have been explained, and the bystanding clergy 
were certainly very much to blame for not stepping forward and 
preventing such a farce. I fear poor Pope will be very much vexed, 
hurt and -dispirited about it. 

Tuesday, 5 April 

The day broke cloudless after a sharp frost. Up early and went 
to Cae Mawr to breakfast, at 8 o'clock. Drove to Hay in MorrelTs 
carriage. We drove on to Llanigon, the air fresh, cold driving. 
Alighted at Llanigon village and sent the carriage back. Walked 
up by the Church and took the field path to the Cilonw Farm. : 

Down the pretty steep winding lane we went skirting the Honddu. i 
Across the valley at the mouth of a great dreadful dingle stood the : 
ruins of the house which was swept away while the people were 
dancing, by an avalanche of snow or a torrent of snow water let loose 
by a sudden thaw. A young man who was coming up from Llan- 
thony to join the party was saved by his greyhound unaccountably 


hanging behind, whining and running back so as to entice his master 
home again. I had not seen Capel y Ffin for 4 years but I remem- 
bered the place perfectly, the old chapel short stout and boxy with 
its little bell turret (the whole building reminded one of an owl), 
the quiet peaceful chapel yard shaded by the seven great solemn 
yews, the chapel house, a farm house over the way, and the Great 
Honddu brook crossing the road and crossed in turn by the stone 
foot bridge. Before the chapel house door by the brookside a 
buxom comely wholesome girl with fair hair, rosy face, blue eyes, 
and fair clear skin stood washing at a tub in the sunshine, up to the 
elbows of her round white lusty arms in soapsuds. We asked her 
how far it was to the place where the monks were building their 
monastery. 'Oh,' she said, smiling kindly and stopping her washing 
for a moment to direct us. *Oh, none just. Please to go over the 
brook and up the lane.' Two tramps were lounging against the 
bridge lighting their pipes and said to each other when we had 
passed, 'They are only going to see the monks'. 

A few minutes walk up a lane now dry but which is probably a 
watercourse in winter, and looking through the hedge we ex- 
claimed, 'There they are'. Two black figures were working in a 
sloping patch of ground laid out as a garden, one digging and the 
other wheeling earth to him in a barrow. They were dressed in 
long black habits girt round the waist with scourge cords knotted 
at the ends and dangling almost to the ground. The black hoods or 
cowls were drawn over their heads leaving their faces bare, and 
their naked feet were thrust into sandals with which they went slip 
slop along as with slippers down at heel. Father Philip was digging. 
Brother Serene or Cyrene was wheeling earth to him from a heap 
thrown out of the excavation dug for the foundations of the 
monastery. He seemed very much oppressed by his heavy black 
dress, for the sun was hot and he stopped when he had wheeled his 
empty barrow back to the heap and stood to rest and wipe his 
streaming brow. They both seemed studiously unconscious of our 
presence, but I saw Brother Serene glancing furtively at us from 
under his cowl when he thought he was under cover of the heap 
of earth. We at first thought of speaking to them but decided not 
to afterwards, fearing they might think our trespassing an intrusion 
on their privacy, uncourteous and rude. We spoke to the masons 
of whom there were two working at the foundations. They spoke 


with great respect and some awe of the monks and did not seem the 
least inclined to laugh at them. They answered all our questions too 
very civilly. We saw the foundation stone which Father Ignatius 1 
came down to lay three weeks ago. Then he returned to London and 
at present there are only these two monks in residence. They have 
one servant a young man who was also wheeling earth. They 
lodge at a farm house close by and live a good deal on milk. They 
allow no woman to come near them and do their own washing. 
Probably however there is little of that to do. They may wear linen 
but they don't show any and perhaps they did not take off their 
habits when at work because they had nothing under. They looked 
very much like old women at work in the garden. It does seem very 
odd at this age of the world in the latter part of the ipth century to 
see monks gravely wearing such dresses and at work in them in 
broad day. One could not help thinking how much more sensible 
and really religious was the dress and occupation of the masons and 
of the hearty healthy girl -washing at the Chapel House, living 
naturally in the world and taking their share of its work, cares and 
pleasures, than the morbid unnatural life of these monks going back 
into the errors of the dark ages and shutting themselves up from the 
world to pray for' the world. 'Laborare est Orare.' The masons had 
raised the foundation walls to the level of the ground and believed 
the house would be built by the end of May, which I doubt. The 
monks as usual had chosen a pretty and pleasant place on a fine 
slope at the foot of the mountain where there was good soil and 
plenty of good water, a trout stream and sand for mortar. The 
house which seemed from the ground plan, as far as we could make 
it out, to be a long shallow building will look S.E. down the valley 
towards Llanthony Abbey. The monks have bought 32 acres. It is 
said they have collected 50,000 which may probably be divided 
by 10. Very few people came to the ceremony of laying the 
foundation stone. 

We crossed a field and the fold of a farm house, scrambled down 
a narrow stony lane and struck the main road again. About a mile 
above Llanthony we descried the Abbey ruins, the dim grey pile of 
building in the vale below standing by the little river side among its 

1 For ^an account of the peculiar career and 'extravagance of conduct' of 'Father 
Ignatius' (the Rev. J. L. Lyne, 1837-1908) and of his effort to revive monastitism in 
England the reader is referred to the Dictionary of National Biography. 


brilliant green meadow. What was our horror on entering the 
enclosure to see two tourists with staves and shoulder belts all com- 
plete postured among the ruins in an attitude of admiration, one of 
them of course discoursing learnedly to his gaping companion and 
pointing out objects of interest with his stick. If there is one thing 
more hateful than another it is being told what to admire and 
having objects pointed out to one with a stick. Of all noxious 
animals too the most noxious is a tourist. And of all tourists the 
most vulgar, illbred, offensive and loathsome is the British tourist. 

MorreU and I arrived at Clyro 7.50 and dined together comfort- 
ably at Cae Mawr sitting up talking afterwards till half past twelve. 
We were rather tired with our 25 miles walk, but not extra- 
ordinarily so. 

Wednesday, 6 April 

I hear with great satisfaction that Henry Warnell the gipsy of 
Hearts Ease, Clyro Hill, got six weeks hard labour without the 
option of paying a fine for assaulting Price of the Swan without the 
slightest provocation and kicking him in the bad place so violently 
and viciously that though Price sprung quickly back just in time to 
save himself a stout pair of corduroy trousers was rent. 

Thursday, 7 April 

I had the satisfaction of managing to walk from Hay to Clyro by 
the fields without meeting a single person, always a great triumph 
to me and a subject for warm self congratulation for I have a 
peculiar dislike to meeting people, and a peculiar liking for 'a 
deserted road. When I looked out between n and 12 before going 
to bed I saw one of the magnificent sights of the world, the crescent 
moon setting. 

When down the stormy crescent goes 

A light before me swims, 
Between dark stems the forest glows, 

I hear a noise of hymns. 

Friday, 8 April 

In the green lane between York and Cern y Fedwas I came upon 
Smith of Wernwg hedging. He told me that a child had arrived at 
Pen-y-worlodd and wanted to know if something cannot be done 
to separate Stephen Davies and Myra Rees. I said there was no law 


to prevent people living in concubinage. People are very indignant 
about this affair and think it a great scandal to the parish, and rightly 
so. But what is to be done? The man's family are mad with him 
especially Mrs. Smith of New Barn, but no one has any influence 
over him. He is infatuated with the girl, whose tongue is so 
desperate and unscrupulous that everyone is afraid of her. Esthei 
Gore openly accuses her of being 'a liar, a thief, a whore, and a 
murderer 9 and offers to swear and prove that Myra has made away 
with one infant, if not with more. 

Saturday ', 9 April 

Mr. Brierley the curate of Presteign and Chaplain to the High 
Sheriff made two unfortunate mistakes. In going to Church he sat 
down beside the Judge with his hat on, and came to dinner with the 
Judge without his robes. Consulted Mr. V. about Stephen Davies 
and Myra Rees but he does not see what can be done. 

From Cwmbythog I crossed the dingle and the brook and the 
little meadow and so up the path by the quarries along the hillside 
to John Morgan's the old soldier's. He and Mary his wife were 
cosily at tea. Talking of the Peninsular War he said he well remem- 
bered being in a reserve line at Vittoria when a soldier sitting close 
to him on the edge of a bank had his head carried off by a cannon 
ball which struck him in front on the throat. The head rolled along 
the ground, and when it ceased rolling John Morgan and the other 
soldiers saw it moving and 'playing' on the ground with a twitching 
of the features for five minutes after. They thought it so extra- 
ordinary that the subject was often talked over round the camp 
fires as an unprecedented marvel. There was one Lieutenant Bowen 
an Irishman who joined the regiment between the batdes of Vittoria 
and the Pyrenees. He was very vicious to the men and much hated. 
Just before the battle of the Pyrenees (which John Morgan calls the 
Battle of the Pioneers) this Lieutenant Bowen became very mild and 
humble to the men fearing he should be shot on purpose by his own 
soldiers in the battle from revenge. He was not shot. 

Monday, n April 

Hay Fair and a large one. The roads thronged with men and 
droves of red white-faced cattle hustling and pattering to the Fair, 
an unusual number of men returning drunk. 

i8?oj EASTER EVE 25 

Tuesday, 12 April 

Last night the Swan was very quiet, marvellously quiet and peace- 
ful. No noise, rowing or fighting whatever and no men as there 
sometimes are lying by the roadside all night drunk, cursing, 
muttering, maundering and vomiting. 

Good Friday, 15 April 

Took cross buns to Hannah Whitney, Sarah Williams, Margaret 
Griffiths, Catherine Ferris, Mary Jones, five widows. 

Saturday, Easter Eve, 16 April 

I awoke at 4.30 and there was a glorious sight in the sky, one of 
the grand spectacles of the Universe. There was not a cloud in die 
deep wonderful blue of the heavens. Along the Eastern horizon 
there was a clear deep intense glow neither scarlet nor crimson but a 
mixture of both. This red glow was very narrow, almost like a 
riband and it suddenly shaded off into the deep blue. Opposite in 
the west the full moon shining in all its brilliance was setting upon 
the hill beyond the church steeple. Thus the glow in the east bathed 
the church in a warm rich tinted light, while the moon from the 
west was casting strong shadows. The moon dropped quickly 
down behind the hill bright to the last, till only her rim could be 
seen sparkling among the tops of the orchards on the hill. The sun 
rose quickly and his rays struck red upon the white walls of Penlkn, 
but not so brilliantly as in the winter sunrisings. I got up soon after 
5 and set to work on my Easter sermon getting two hours for writing 
before breakfast. 

At ii I went to the school-. Next I went to Cae Mawr. Mrs. 
Morrell had been very busy all the morning preparing decorations 
for the Font, a round dish full of flowers in water and just big 
enough to fit into the Font and upon this large dish a pot filled and 
covered with flowers all wild, primroses, violets, wood anemones, 
wood sorrel, -periwinkles, oxlips and the first blue bells, rising in a 
gentle pyramid, ferns and larch sprays drooping over the brim, a 
wreath of simple ivy to go round the stem of the Font, and a bed of 
moss to encircle the foot of the Font in a narrow band pointed at the 
corners and angles of the stone with knots of primroses. At 2 o'clock 
Hetty Gore of the Holly House came down from Cefh y Blaen and 
upset all my arrangements for the afternoon saying that old William 
Piitchard there was very ill not likely to live and wishes to see me 


this afternoon that I might read to him and give him the Sacrament, 
Hetty Gore thought he might not last many days. 'So I was obliged 
to go to the Vicarage explain and give up my drive. Found the 
schoolmaster and a friend staying with him just going out to get 
moss and carrying the East window-sill board from the Church to 
the school to prepare it for tomorrow with the text 'Christ is Risen* 
written in primroses upon moss. Shall I ever forget that journey up 
the hill to Cefh y Blaen in this burning Easter Eve, under the cloud- 
less blue, the scorching sun and over the country covered with a hot 
dim haze? I climbed up the Bron panting in the sultry afternoon 
heat. Went up the fields from Court Evan Gwynne to Little Wem 
y Pentre and envied the sheep that were being washed in the brook 
below, between the field and the lane, by Price of Great Wern y 
Pentre and his excited boys. The peewits were sweeping rolling 
and tumbling in the hot blue air about the Tall Trees with a strange 
deep mysterious hustling and quavering sound from their great wings, 
Pritchard was not nearly so ill as I had been led to expect. In 
fact he would not allow he was seriously ill and said he only Bad 
asthma. Indeed he almost said that he had sent for me merely 
because he liked to receive the Sacrament at Easter and could not 
go to his own Church (Colva). If I had known this I am not sure 
that I should have taken the trouble to come up in such a hurry 
to-day and deny myself my drive. But it seems that he had a very 
bad fit of coughing this morning when Hetty Gore was here and 
frightened her by almost choking. Mrs. Evans of Cefii y Blaen was 
very anxious that Pritchard, who is her uncle and is staying with her, 
should make his will as he had told her he meant to leave her all 
his property, and a former will is still in being leaving his property 
to someone else. She took me aside before we went upstairs and 
with a low mysterious voice and foolish conscious face asked me to 
urge him to make his will in her favour. I told her that I would not 
interfere with family matters or influence him to dispose of his pro- 
perty to her advantage exclusively, and that I could only advise her 
uncle in a general way and as a matter of common prudence, for a 
sick and elderly man, to settle his affairs as he thought right without 
deky. Which I accordingly did. Coming back it was cooler for the 
fierceness of the sun was tempered and I met a refreshing cool breeze. 
When I started for Cetn y Blaen only two or three people were 
in the churchyard with flowers. But now the customary beautiful 



Easter Eve Idyll had fairly begun and people kept arriving from all 
parts with flowers to dress the graves. Children were coming from 
the town and from neighbouring villages with baskets of flowers 
and knives to cut holes in the turf. The roads were lively with 
people coming and going and the churchyard a busy scene with 
women and children and a few men moving about among the 
tombstones and kneeling down beside the green mounds flowering 
the graves. An evil woman from Hay was dressing a grave. Qane 
Phillips). I found Annie Dyke standing among the graves with her 
basket of flowers. A pretty picture she would have made as she 
stood there with her pure fair sweet grave face and clustering brown 
curls shaded by her straw hat and her flower basket hanging on her 
arm. It is her birthday to-day. I always tell her she and the cuckoos 
came together. So I went home and got a little birthday present I 
had been keeping for her, which I bought in the Crystal Palace in 
January, a small ivory brooch, with the carved figure of a stag. I 
took the iitde box which held it out into the churchyard and gave it 
to her as she was standing watching while the wife of one of her 
father's workmen, die shepherd, flowered the grave that she came 
to dress, for her. 

More and more people kept coming into the churchyard as they 
.finished their day's work. The sun went down in glory behind the 
'dingle, but still die work of love went on through the twilight and 
into the dusk until the moon rose full and splendid. The figures 
continued to move about among the graves and to bend over the 
green mounds in the calm clear moonlight and warm air of the 
balmy evening. 

At 8 o'clock there was a gathering of the Choir in the Church to 
practise the two andiems for to-morrow. The moonlight came 
streaming in broadly through the chancel windows. When the 
choir had gone and the lights were out and the church quiet again, 
as I walked down the Churchyard alone the decked graves had a 
strange effect in the moonlight and looked as if the people had laid 
down to sleep for the night out of doors, ready dressed to rise early 
on Easter morning. I lingered in the verandah before going to bed. 
Tne air was as soft and warm as a summer night, and die broad 
moonlight made the quiet village almost as light as day. Everyone 
seemed to have gone to rest and there was not a sound except the 
dink and trickle of the brook. 


Easter Day, 17 April 

The happiest, brightest, most beautiful Easter I have ever spent. 
I woke early and looked out. As I had hoped the day was cloudless, 
a glorious morning. My first thought was 'Christ is Risen'. It is 
not well to lie in bed on Easter morning, indeed it is thought very 
unlucky. I got up between five and six and was out soon after six. 
There had been a frost and the air was rimy with a-heavy thick white 
dew on hedge, bank and turf, but the morning was not cold. 
There was a heavy white dew with a touch of hoar frost on the 
meadows, and as I leaned over the wicket gate by the mill pond 
looking to see if there were any primroses in the banks but not 
liking to venture into the dripping grass suddenly I heard the cuckoo 
for the first time this year. He was near Peter's Pool and he called 
three times quickly one after another. It is very well to hear the 
cuckoo for the first time on Easter Sunday morning. I loitered up 
the lane again gathering primroses. 

The village lay quiet and peaceful in die morning sunshine, but 
by the time I came back from primrosing there was some little stir 
and people were beginning to open their doors and look out into 
the fresh fragrant splendid morning. 

There was a very large congregation at morning church, the 
largest I have seen for some time, attracted by Easter and the splen- 
dour of the day, for they have here an immense reverence for Easter 
Sunday. The anthem went very well and Mr. Baskerville compli- 
mented Mr. Evans after church about it, saying that it was sung in 
good tune and time and had been a great treat. There were more 
communicants than usual: 29. This is the fifth time I have received 
the Sacrament within four days. After morning service I took 
Mr. V. round the churchyard and showed him the crosses on his 
mother's, wife's, and brother's graves. He was quite taken by sur- 
prise and very much gratified. I ajcn glad to see that our primrose 
crosses seem to be having some effect for I think I notice this Easter 
some attempt to copy them and an advance towards the form of the 
cross in some of the decorations of the graves. I wish we could get 
the people to adopt some litde design in the disposition of the 
flowers upon the graves instead of sticking sprigs into the turf 
aimlessly anywhere, anyhow and with no meaning at all. But one 
does not like to interfere too much with their artless, natural way 
of showing their respect and love for the dead. I am thankful to 


find this beautiful custom on the increase, and observed more and 
more every year. Some years ago it was on the decline and nearly 
discontinued. On Easter Day all the young people come out in 
something new and bright like butterflies. It is almost part of their 
religion to wear something new on this day. It was an old saying 
that if you don't wear something new on Easter Day, the crows will 
spoil everything you have on. 

Between the services a great many people were in the churchyard 
looking at the graves. I went to Bettws Chapel in the afternoon. 
It was burning hot and as I climbed the hill the perspiration rolled 
off my forehead from under my hat and fell in drops on the dusty 
road. Lucretia Wall was in chapel looking pale and pretty after her 
illness. Coming down the hill it was delightful, cool and pleasant. 
The sweet suspicion of spring strengthens, deepens, and grows more 
sweet every day. Mrs. Pring gave us lamb and asparagus at dinner. 

Easter Tuesday, 19 April 

Set off with Spencer and Leonard Cowper at 2 o'clock for Mouse 
Castle, By the fields to Hay, then to Llydiart-y-Wain. It is years 
since I have seen this house and I had quite forgotten how prettily 
it is situated. At least it looked very pretty today bosomed among 
its white blossoming fruit trees, the grey fruitful homestead with its 
two large gleaming ponds. Thence up a steep meadow to the 
left and by some quarries, over a stile in a wire fence and up a lovely 
winding path through the woods spangled with primroses and 
starred with wood anemones among trees and bushes thickening 
green. It was very hot in the shelter of the woods as we climbed 
up. The winding path led us round to the back of the hill till at 
last, we emerged into a bold green brow in the middle of which 
stood a square steep rampart of grey cnimbling sandstone rock with 
a flat top covered with grass bushes and trees, a sort of small wood. 
This rampart seemed about 15 feet high. The top of the hill round 
the base of the rampart undulated in uneven swells and knolls with 
little hillocks covered with short downy grass. One of the knolls 
overlooking the wooded side of the hill towards Hay was occupied 
by a wild group. A stout elderly man in. a velveteen jacket with a 
walking stick sat or lay upon the dry turf. Beside him sat one or 
two young girls, while two or three more girls and boys climbed 
up and down an accessible point in the rampart like young wild 


goats, swarmed up into the hazel trees on the top of the rock and 
sat in the forks and swung. I could not make the party out at all, 
They were not poor and they certainly were not rich. They did not 
look like fanners, cottagers or artizans. They were perfectly nonde- 
script, seemed to have come from nowhere and to he going no- 
where, but just to have fallen from the sky upon Mouse Castle, and 
to he just amusing themselves. The girls about 12 or 14 years old 
climbed up the steep rocks before and just above us quite regardless 
of the shortness of their petticoats and the elevating and inflating 
powers of the wind. We climbed up too and found no castle or 
ruin of one. Nothing but hazels and bushes. A boy was seated in 
the fork of one hazel and a girl swinging in the wind in another, 
We soon came down again covered with dust and went to repose 
upon an inviting knoll green sunny and dry, from which two girls 
jumped up and ran away with needless haste. The man lay down 
in the grass on his face and apparently went to sleep. The girls 
called him 'Father*. They were full of fun and larks as wild as hawks, 
and presently began a great romp on the grass which ended in their 
rolling and tumbling head over heels and throwing water over each 
other and pouring some cautiously on their father's head. Then they 
scattered primroses over him. Next the four girls danced away 
down the path to a spring in the wood with a pitcher to draw more 
water, leaving a little girl and little boy with their father. We heard 
the girls shrieking with laughter and screaming with fun down 
below at the spring in the wood as they romped and, no doubt, 
threw water over each other and pushed each other into the spring. 
Presently they re-appeared on the top with the pitcher, laughing and 
struggling, and again the romp began. They ran after each other 
flinging water in showers, throwing each other down and rolling 
over on the grass. Seeing us amused and laughing they became still 
more wild and excited. They were fine good looking spirited girls 
all of them. But there were one or two quite pretty and one in a 
red frock was the wildest and most reckless of the troop. In the 
romp her dress was torn open all down her back, but whilst one of 
her sisters was trying to fasten it for her she burst away and tore it all 
open again showing vast spaces of white, skin as well as linen. Mean- 
while the water that had been ostensibly fetched up from the spring 
to drink had all been thrown wantonly away, some carefully poured 
over their father, the rest wildly dashed at each other, up die clothes, 

i8 7 o] THE WILD PARTY 31 

over the Head down the neck and back, anywhere except down their 
own throats. Someone pretended to be thirsty and to lament that 
all the water was gone so the whole bevy trooped merrily off down 
to the spring again. I could not help envying the father his children 
especially his troop of lithe, lissome, high-spirited, romping girls 
with their young supple limbs, their white round arms, white 
shoulders and brows, their rosy flushed cheeks, their dark and fair 
curls tangled, tossed and blown back by the wind, their bright wild 
saucy eyes, their red sweet full lips and white laughing teeth, their 
motions as quick, graceful and active as young antelopes or as fawns, 
and their clear sweet merry laughing voices, ringing through the 
woods. Meanwhile the father began to roll down the hillockside to 
amuse his younger children who remained with him, laughing 
heartily. And from the spring below rose the, same screaming and 
laughing as before. Then we heard the voices gradually coming 
near the top of the hill ascending through the wood, till the wild 
troop of girls appeared once more and the fun began again. Next 
the father went to hide .himself in the wood for the girls to find him 
and play hide and seek. And in the midst of their game we were 
obliged to come away and leave them for it was nearly 4.30. So we 
ran down the winding path, past the spring through the primrose 
and anemone starred woods to the meadow, quarry, farm and road. 
I cannot think who the wild party were. They were like no one 
whom I ever saw before. They seemed as if they weie the genii loci 
and always lived there. At all events I shall always connect them 
with Mouse Castle. And if I should ever visit the place again I shall 
certainly expect to find them there in full romp. 

The air blew sweet from the mountains and tempered the heat 
of the sun. All round the brow of the hill the sloping woods budded 
into leaf, the birds sang in the thickets and the afternoon sun shone 
golden on the grassy knolls. 

Tuesday, 26 April 

John Morgan was tottering about his garden with crutches, 
gathering stones off the beds and hoeing the earth between the 
potato rows. I took the hoe from the old soldier and hoed three 
rows for him, finishing the patch. Then we went indoors and sat 
down by the fire. 

The whole country is now lighted up by the snowy pear blossoms 


among their delicate light-green leaves. The pear trees stand lite 
lights about the gardens and orchards and in the fields. The magni- 
ficent great old pear tree opposite the Vicarage is in bloom. 

Wednesday, 27 April 

At noon got out my old Swiss haversack, crammed night neces- 
saries into it, made a brown paper parcel of my dress coat, and 
strapping all together started after luncheon for Whitney Rectory, 
walking with my pack slung over my shoulders by the fields to 
Hay to catch the 1.50 train. 

At Whitney I walked down to the Rectory by the private path 
through the shrubbery. I went up the meadow to the Stow and 
found that Dewing had just gone out. However he had seen me 
coming and had left a message with the servant to ask me to wait 
and he would be in in a few minutes. I waited in the drawing room, 
The last time I was in that room was when Mr. Venables and I rode 
to call upon the Dewings just after their marriage. And now she is 
dead. How well I remember the bride cake and wine on the table 
and she sitting in the window looking so well, so radiant and 

s lilies of the valley that weie planted by Miss Dew close by ( 
the front door in the little flower border to welcome the young 
bride on the first coming home, after her marriage on the 14 May, 
are now just coming up. So early dead, not 23, and to the poor 
bereaved husband after the short gleam of happiness all seems Hke a 
dream. Her pretty portrait stiU on the dining room mantelpiece. In 
the dining room on the bookshelves stood two cases of stuffed birds, 
one case of gulls and petrels, all the sea-birds from Plymouth. The 
other was a case of country birds, a cuckoo, jay, yappingale, starling, 
blackbird and thrush, all nicely set up by hei brother Mr. Hinckstone. . 
After waiting and waiting I went out into the garden and strolled 
about the sunny lawn where a slight shower from a black cloud had 
beaded the grass with bright drops. Presently I saw Miss Dew in her 
black dress coming slowly up the green meadow. I thought of 
William Wordsworth the poet who often used to come and stay at 
this house with blind Mr. Monkhouse who had jnearly a u &$ poems 
off by heart. Miss Dew came in by the wicket gate leading from the 
garden into the meadow and stayed some time telling me about 
Mr. Dewing. 


Thursday, 28 April 

Only Mr. Venables was at dinner at Cae Mawr. Champagne at 
dinner and some splendid mutton and I was very hungry. last night 
one of Cheese's clerks came to lodge here. I met him at the gate 
this evening and liked his looks, but when I came in after dinner I 
found the house poisoned with tobacco smoke. 
May Eve, Saturday 

Mr, Venables started in the Hay omnibus from Clyro Vicarage 
for London for his two months' absence at 10.15. 

This evening being May Eve I ought to have put some birch and 
wittan (mountain ash) over the door to keep out the 'old witch*. 
But I was too lazy to go out and get it. Let us hope the old witch 
will not come in during the night. The young witches are welcome. 

Monday, 2 May 

A bright cold morning, & while the sun was yet low the shadow 
of one of the five poplars fell across part of the spire of another, 
deepening & richening the green. 

Tuesday, 3 May 

Started at noon to walk to Newchurch. Went by Whitty's mill. 
Stopped on the steep hill above the mill to enjoy the sight of the 
peaceful little hamlet, and the chink of the forge at Pentwyn 
sounded sweet, clear and busy across the dingle. I turned up by the 
old deserted kiln house, empty now, silent, desolate, with its high 
steep brown tiled roof and white dirty walls. This old field path is 
quite new to me. I have never travelled it tefore. Just above the 
kiln I saw and gathered the first red campion. Luxuriantly large 
cowslips grew on the bank and marsh buttercups in the ditcji. It is a 
strange country between the kiln and Whitehall. The trees look 
wild and weird and a yew was stifling an oak. The meadow below 
Whitehall looked sad and strange and wild, grown with bramble 
bushes, thorns, fern and gorse. Poor Whitehall, sad, silent and lonely, 
with its great black yew in the hedge of the tangled waste grass- 
grown garden and its cold chimney still ivy-clustered. I walked 
round and looked in at the broken untrained windows and pushed 
opea a door which swung slowly and wearily together again. On 
another door at the house end were carved two figures or ploughs. 
A dry old mixen withered before and close to the front entrance. 
Here were held the Quarterly Dances. What fun. What merry 


makings, the young people coming in couples and parties from the 
country round to dance in the long room. What laughing, flirting, 
joking and kissing behind the door or in the dark garden amongst 
the young folks, while the elders sat round the room with pipe aa.d 
mug of beer or cider from the 'Black Ox* of Coldbrook hard by. 
Now how is all changed, song and dance still, mirth fled away, 
Only the weird sighing through the broken roof and crazy doors, 
the quick feet, busy hands, saucy eyes, strong limbs all mouldered 
into dust, the laughing voices silent. There was a deathlike stillness 
about the place, except that I fancied once I heard a small voice 
singing and a bee was htrnirning among the ivy green, the only bit 
of life about the place. From die old long low brown cottage of 
Whitehall with its broken roof with a chimney at each gable end I 
went up the lane to Pant-y-ci speculating upon the probable site of 
the Coldbrook and the Black Ox which was the house of call on 
Clyro Hill for the drovers of the great herds of black cattle from 
Shire Carmarthen and Cardigan on their way down into England, 
I thought I saw the place where the house probably stood. No one 
was at home at Pant-y-ci so I stuck a cowslip in the latch hole by 
way of leaving a card and went on to Crowther's Pool. 

By Tyn-y-cwm Meadows to Newchurch village and in turning , 
in at the old Vicarage garden door I heard the hum of the little 
school. The door under the latticed porch was open and as I went 
in a pretty dark girl was coming out of an inner door, but seeing 
me she retreated hastily and I heard an excited buzzing of voices . 
within the schoolroom and eager whispers among the children: 
'Here's Mr. Kilvert - It's Mr. Kilvert,' Not finding the good parson 
in his study I went into the schoolroom and fluttered the dove cot 
not a little. The curate and his eldest daughter were away and pretty 
Emmeline in a russet brown stuff dress and her long fair curls was 
keeping school bravely with an austere look in her severe beautiful 
face, and hearing little Polly Greenway read. Janet and Matilda dressed 
just alike in black silk skirts, scarlet bodices and white pinafores, 
and with blue ribbons in their glossy bonny dark brown curls, were 
sitting on a form at a long desk with the other children working at 
sums. Janet was doing simple division and said she had done five 
sums, whereupon I kissed her and she was nothing loth. Moreover I 
offered to give her a kiss for every sum, at which she laughed. As 
I stood by the window making notes of things in general in my 


pocket book Janet kept on interrupting hef work to glance round at 
me shyly but saucily with her mischievous beautiful grey eyes. Shall 
I confess that I travelled ten miles today over the hills for a kiss, to 
kiss that child's sweet face. Ten miles for a kiss. 

I do frink the way the Vaughan girls wear their short curling hair 
is the most natural and prettiest in the world. Oh if fashionable young 
ladies could but see and perceive and understand and know what 
utterly ludicrous guys they make of themselves, with the towers and 
spires and horns and clubs that they build and torture their hair up 
into! But slaves to fashion must its gods adore. 


I rose early, wrote, and loitered down the sunny lane before break- 
fast. A lovely morning and I heard the first turtle dove trilling. I 
was standing on the bridge plank over the waste water looking at 
the black and white ducks and a fine drake preening themselves and 
splashing about in the mill pond when Price of the Swan came down 
the lane. We were standing talking where the waste water crosses 
the road and Price said, suddenly pointing, 'Look there*. There was 
a small animal running about the stones by the brook side intjie sun 
whirling round in circles and behaving very strangely. Price 
pronounced it to be a small kind of weasel catching flies. I said I 
thought it was a mouse, and it proved to be a shrew. Price called it 
*a hardy straw*. It was whirling and whisking round swiftly among 
the stones in little circles, sometimes almost on its side, showing its 
white belly, tumbling about, darting to and fro rapidly, and con- 
ducting itself in the most earnest but ludicrous manner. It was so 
absorbed in catching flies or whatever it was about that it did not see 
us or care about us though we threw stones at it, and allowed us to 
come quite near and turn it over with a stick and push it into the 
water. It squeaked but did not run away and I took it up. It dung 
on to Price's stick, dropped on to the ground, and then vanished into 
a hole in the bank. 

I lent Hannah a book and brought away a fern green from off 
the great flat porch stone over the door of the Oaks. They are good 
for making ointment. The brook and Painscasde mill pond glanc- 
ing like silver. A beautiful sunny afternoon and the cuckoo railing 
everywhere. Met Mrs. Cooper in the churchyard and she told me 
Cooper is very ill with stoppage. 


Friday t 6 May 

I set off for Newdhurch again, my second visit there this week. 

When I got out on to the open of the Little Mountain the lap- 
wings were wheeling about the hill by scores, hurtling and rustling 
with their wings, scpirling and wailing, tumbling and lurching on 
every side, very much disturbed, anxious and jealous about their 
nests. As I entered the fold of Gilfach y rheol, Janet issued from the ; 
house door and rushed across the yard and turning the corner of the 
wain-house I found the two younger ladies assisting at the castration 
of the lambs, catching and holding the poor little beasts and standing 
by whilst the operation was performed, seeming to enjoy the spec- 
tacle. It was the first time I had seen clergyman's daughters helping 
to castrate lambs or witnessing that operation and it rather gave me 
a turn of disgust at first. But I made allowance for them and con- 
sidered in how rough a way the poor children have been brought 
up, so that they thought no harm of it, and I forgave them. I am 
glad however that Emmeline was not present, and Sarah was of 
course out of the way. Matilda was struggling in a pen with a large 
stout white lamb, and when she had mastered him and got him well 
between her legs and knees I ventured to ask where her father was, 
She signified by a nod and a word that he was advancing behind me, 
and turning I saw him crossing the yard with his usual outstretched 
hand and cordial welcome. I don't think the elder members of the 
family quite expected that the young ladies would be caught by a 
morning caller castrating lambs, and probably they would have 
selected some other occupation for them had they foreseen 
the coming of a guest. However they carried it off uncommonly 

Monday, 9 May 

Now the various tints of green mount one over another up the 
hanging woods of Penllan above the dingle. Over the level line of 
brilliant larch green rises the warmer golden green brown of the 
oaks. But the most brilliant green of all is the young green of the 
beeches. The brilliance of the beeches is almost beyond belief. The 
turtles were trilling softly and deeply in the dingles as I went up the 
steep orchard. The grass was jewelled with cowslips and orchises. 
The dingle was lighted here and there with wild cherry, bird cherry, 
the Welsh name of which being interpreted is 'the tree on which 

j8 7 o] IN THE TUNNEL 37 

the devil hung his mother'. The mountains burned blue in the hot 
afternoon and the air felt quite sultry as I climbed the hill. 

Saturday, 14 May 

Over the great old fashioned house door of Court Evan Gwynne 
hung the sprigs of birch and wittan, the only remnants of the old 
custom I have noticed this May. The sprays had been hanging since 
May Eve and were rather withered. 

Sunday, 15 May 

Spoke to Wall about the desirability of trying to get James Allen 
to dislodge his immoral tenants at Cwmpelved Green. 
Monday, 16 May 

Morrell drove down and picked me and my luggage up at 7.30 
and drove me to the station. The morning was most lovely, a 
perfect day for travelling, and it was a luxury simply to sit still and 
be carried through the exquisite scenery of Herefordshire and 

Got to Chippenham shortly before 2 p.m. I walked up by Cockle- 
bury, the lane and fields deliciously shady green and quiet. My 
Father came across the Common to the black gate waiting for me 
by that way, then came over the field to meet me. 

The orchard and garden apple trees are in full bloom and the pink 
stage of the blossom having passed, the trees seem loaded as if with 
snow, a sea, a mass of blossom. The copper beech is in its early 
purple splendour and the great laburnum near it just about to burst 
into blossom. The broom that I transplanted has grown much and 
is in fine bloom now. The whole place is looking almost more lovely 
than ever I saw it, and the grass of the lawn so smooth and brilliantly 

Wednesday, 18 May 

Went down to the Bath Flower Show in Sydney College Gar- 
dens. Found the first train going down was an Excursion train and 
took a ticket for it. The carriage was nearly full In the Box tunnel 
as there was no lamp, the people began to strike foul brimstone 
matches and hand them to each other all down the carriage. All the 
time we were in the tunnel these lighted matches were travelling 
from hand to hand in the darkness. Each match lasted the length of 
the carriage and the red ember was thrown out of the opposite 
window, by which time another lighted match was seen travelling 


down the carriage. The carriage was chock full of brimstone fumes, 
the windows both nearly shut, and by the time we got out of the 
tunnel I was almost suffocated. Then a gentleman tore a lady's 
pocket handkerchief in two, seized one fragment, blew his nose 
with it, and put the rag in his pocket. She then seized his hat from 
his head, while another lady said that the dogs of Wootton Bassett 
were much more sociable than the people. 

Thursday, 19 May 

All the afternoon I had a bad face ache and could enjoy nothing. 
I tried laudanum and port wine, but nothing did any good. 

Sunday, 22 May 

Day after day this glorious cloudless weather goes on. We all 
went to Church this morning except Dora, walking together as one 
great family through the may, between the hawthorn hedges and 
trees laden with sweet snowy blossom. The Bowling green, Becks 
and the Barrow meadow are sheets of gold buttercups, seas of gold 
stretching away under the elms. In Becks there are scarlet may trees 
and the deep blue sky over all. 

Tuesday, 24 May 

Chippenham bells pealing and firing all day for the Queens 
birthday. Perch fished while I lay on the sloping grass bank and 
read the Spanish Student. The river was very low and the roach 
and dace have not yet come up. The air was full of 'green drake' or 
may fly just up and all swarming over the river, and the little bleak 
leaping at them every moment. 
Holy Thursday, 26 May 

The bells ringing for the Ascension. Went to Church with my 
Father through the sunny golden fields variegated with clover and 
daisies and ground ivy. The Church bell tolling for service through 
the elms. A small congregation, but many bees buzzing about tie 
Church windows as if a swarm were flying. My Father says this has 
happened on several Ascension days and once the Churchwarden 
John Bryant came after a swarm of his to the Church on Ascension 
Day, clinking a frying pan and shovel. My Father told him that the 
bees showed the people to way to Church. 

Every morning Summerflower brings splendid watercresses from 
Kellaways Mill. Last Tuesday morning I was out early before break- 
fast, walking along the Common on Maud Heath between the may 


hedges. Just as I heard the breakfast bell ring across the Common 
from the Rectory aad turned in at the black gate a man crossed the 
stile carrying a basket. He said his name was Summerflower, that 
he had fasted since yesterday morning and that he could buy no 
breakfast before he had got watercresses to sell, 

Friday, 27 May 

After dinner at 3, drove to Monkton with Fanny to a croquet & 
archery party. 

Saturday, 28 May 

From Langley to Clyro by early express. 

Charles while driving me over told me of the charge brought 
against Brewer by Janet, late kitchenmaid at Clyio Vicarage, 
accusing him of being the father of her child. wrote to him at 
Clyro, making the charge, as soon as the child was born, and poor 
Mrs. Brewer opened the letter, read it, and sent it on to her husbandl 
I am told she is nearly heartbroken. Poor child. Chatles fears the 
charge is too well founded. I was thunderstruck. I always thought 
so well of Brewer and believed him. to be such a very different man. 

Monday, 30 May 

Mrs. Smith of New Barn paid me an interminable visitation and 
hindered me a long while to no purpose, wanting me to write to 
Mr. Weere and ask him to let them have Pen-y-wyrlod, if her 
brother Stephen Davies has to leave, Mr. "Weere paid his tenant 
and farm an unexpected visit and finding him living in open con- 
cubinage with Myra Rees gave him notice. I told Mrs. Smith that 
Mr. Weere is a perfect stranger to me and that I could not interfere 
with what is not my business. 

Tuesday, June Eve 

Hamar of Boatside lias had the measles heavily. I met him in the 
road one day and he said 1 suppose I have had trie measles/ as if he 
did not know that he had. It is the curious aggravating Hereford- 
shire use of the word 'suppose'. 

June Day, Wednesday 

Going out to the School at 10 found Mary Brooks, the Vicarage 
housemaid, -at the door just going to ring. She had run down 
breathless with an open letter just received in her hand to announce 
that Mrs. Venables was confined of a nice little girl at 1.5 a.m. 


yesterday. Three cheers. The news flew through the village like 
wild fire. Charlie Powell, Richard Brooks and John Harris rushed 
to the Church and the bells were soon in full peal. 

Hannah Whitney standing at her door knitting heard the bells 
ringing and asked 'What has God sent her?' The bells ringing at 
intervals all day. Mrs. Price of the Swan sent the ringers a gallon of 
beer. I sent them another gallon, and went to the belfry to see them 
ringing. I went to bed early and saw a broad strong light striking 
through my N.W. bedroom window on the wall opposite. I found 
afterwards it was a tar barrel bonfire which Cooper and Evans the 
schoolmaster were making upon the Bron in honour of Miss 

Thursday, 2 June 

To Llanthomas at 4.30. Crichton and W. Thomas just going out 
trout fishing. They brought home a nice basket offish. The ladies 
with Henry Thomas had gone up the bank sketching. 

Heard that Kingcraft won the Derby yesterday instead of the 
favourite Macgregor who was thought safe to win. 

The Llanthomas carriage took the Crichtons home and I went 
with them as far as Wye Cliff gate, Henry Thomas lending me a 
capital bearskin sort of coat to drive in. As we drove home the night 
was still and warm, the landrails were craking in the grass and the 
crescent moon was setting bright and clear. As I walked down the 
Long Mills hill the brick-kiln glowed bright and red through the 

Friday, 3 June 

Went to see John Morgan and found the old soldier sitting out in 
his garden, so I brought a chair out of the house and sat with him 
reading and talking to him. The beans were deliciously sweet- 
scented and a white flower something like Whitsuntide stock. At 
the Lower House the orchard boughs were so thick and close that 
the sun could not penetrate them, and the sunlight only got into the 
orchard at a gap in the west side through which it came streaming 
in low in a long bright streak along the brilliant green rich velvety- 
looking grass like sunshine through a painted Cathedral window. 

Sitting room windows open till very kte. A group of people 
talking and laughing loud in the Swan porch and on the steps in the 
dusk. I was. delighted to hear Teddy Evans proposing to some 


other children to play the old game of *Fox a Dandley*. Then they 
chose 'dens' and began running about catching each other and I 
thought I heard the 'Cats of Kinlay' mewing. Perhaps that is part 
of the game. I had no idea the old game was still played by the- 
present generation of children. Teddy Evans was singing 

My Mother said that I never should 
Play with the gipsies in the wood &c. 

Whitsun Day, 5 June 

Very hot in morning Church, and an enormous bumble bee 
crawled over the white cloth and everything else during the Holy 
Communion. A number of white dresses and light colours in 
Church in honour of Whitsuntide. After afternoon Church walked 
across the fields to Hay. Went to the Castle and found them all at 
tea. Went with them to Church and preached for Bevan. Rather 
disconcerted at seeing Mrs. Crichton in Mr. Allen's seat just below, 
for she had heard the same sermon at Clyro in the morning. 

A letter from Mr. Venables confirming the Brewer scandal. I 
had been hoping almost against hope that it might not be true. It is 
a sad scandal for the Vicarage. He says he has never had such a 
scandal in his house before. Mrs. Venables does not know of it yet. 
They were obliged to keep it secret from her lest it might do her 
harm and shock her so as to hasten matters. She is getting on very 
well. Dr. Farre allows her chicken and claret and talks 'of moving 
her to a sofa about next Wednesday. Mr. V. very kindly puts the 
Vicarage at the disposal of my people from June 20 to July i. 

Whitsun Monday ', 6 June 

Called at Clyro Court. Mrs. Baskerville said she had heard that 
a lady had been carried out of Hay Church fainting under the influ- 
ence of a sermon from Mr. Welby. The story is probably untrue. 

Whitsun Tuesday, 7 June 

Up early and writing in my bedroom before breakfast. The 
swallows kept on dashing in at the open window and rustling round 
the room. The road sides are now deep in the dry withered wych 
blossom blowing and rustling about lightly and falling from the 
Churchyard wyches. Thunder muttering again this morning, but 
still a cloudless sky, a wind from the E. and hot sun, everything 
parching and burning up. When are we to have rain? At the 

42 KILVERT'S DIARY \j une 

school Gipsy Lizzie looking arch and mischievous with her dark 
large beautiful eyes, and a dazzling smile showed her little white 
teeth, as she tossed her dark curls hack. 

The village was very quiet in the still burning heat and there was 
scarcely a sound. At 2.30 went up to Mrs. Corfield's in the Cwm. 
Mrs. Corfield lying in bed very weak and sweating heavily under two 
blankets and a coverlet. I advised that one blanket should be re- 
moved. Holes in the roof open to the sky ventilated the bedroom, 
but no window would open and the bedroom was very hot. 

Climbed up the Holme. Meredith's sister in the yard feeding her 
fowls. Walked round the garden and then went indoors. She 
said she could not bear to come to Clyro Church because her sister 
who committed suicide from New Barn by drowning herself in the 
Wye below Boatside is buried opposite the Church door. And this 
is the birth place of Sarah Smith. Sarah of the Cwm. To me there 
seems to be a halo of glory round this place. Yet in what poor mean 
dwellings these wild rich natures, these mountain beauties, are born 
and reared. 

Wednesday, 8 June 

As I was writing a sermon (with open windows to the laburnum 
and horsechestnuts) on Barnabas, the son of consolation, a note was 
brought to me from David Vaughan and his son William was 
waiting outside. So I had him in and gave him some beer. He was 
rather shy and constrained and sat for a long time quite still with the 
tumbler of beer in his hand and looking at nothing. I could not 
conceive why he did not drink the beer. Then I thought he was ill. 
At last he faced round on his chair half wheel, and pronounced 
solemnly and formally, 'My best respects to you, Sir'. After having 
delivered himself of this respectful sentiment he imbibed some beer. 
It was a bit of perfect good breeding. I suppose he had been during 
the long pause while he sat so still cogitating what would be the 
proper thiag to say or perhaps trying to prepare a set speech for so 
1 an occasion. 

y, 9 June 

In the night there came a cooler wind and fair showers out of the 
west. The falling white blossoms of the clematis drift in at the open 
window on the fresh morning breeze. In the garden there are red 
roses, and blue hills beyond. Last night the moon was shining in at 


my west window through the lacing boughs of the mountain ash 
the moonbeams fell across the bed and I saw 'the gusty shadow 
sway* on the white bed curtain. Called at Cae Mawr at 3.30 and 
found Mr. and Mrs. Morrell playing croquet with his sister and Miss 
Morrell of Moulsford who are staying in the house, having returned 
with him on Tuesday. Joined them and we had two merry games. 
The two eldest Miss Baskervilles came in by the wicket gate while 
we were playing and we had tea on the lawn. I staid to dinner. 
After dinner we had archery. 

Friday, 10 June 

Woke in the night and saw the moon through the mountain ash 
setting red over the Old Forest. Colder and cloudy, but yet no wind 
and all things drier and, drier. Gusty N.W. wind and a perpetual 
and maddening banging of doors. 
Thursday, i6june 

The old soldier showed my brother his Peninsula medal with the 
Vittoria, Pyrenees and Toulouse clasps, and after some talk about 
the army and the Peninsula we left. It was fearfully sultry as we 
walked home and at 9 p.m. a thunderstorm came. It seemed as if 
three or four thunderstorms were rolling and working round far 
off. The lightning was exceedingly fine. Broad flares and flames of 
rose colour, violet, and brilliant yellow. Heavy rain came on and 
lasted for an hour. The air was much cooled and everything 

Friday, ijjune 

Perch went groping about in the brook and brought in a small 
crayfish which crawled about the table, horns, tail and daws like a 
fresh-water clean brown lobster. I did not know there were any 
crayfish in the brook. 

We went to a croquet party at Clyro Court, calling at Cae Mawr 
by the way. The party divided between croquet and archery. 
Saturday, iSJune 

It was very hot walking, a sultry heat. At Hay Castle I found a 
number of young ladies playing croquet with Pope, Margaret 
Oswald, Jenny Dew, Lucy Allen, Charlotte and Edith Thomas. At 
lawn tea Charlotte Thomas emptied her cup of tea into her kp 
and then in getting up shot part of the contents of her lap out on 
to Mrs. Allen's dress. 


Tuesday, 21 June 

Today we went for a picnic to Snodhill Castle in the Golden 
Valley. A great break very roomy and comfortable came round 
with a pair of brown hoises and we all got in. Mrs. Oswald, Cap- 
tain and Mrs. Bridge, Perch, Jim Brown, Arthur Oswald and 
myself. The sun glared fiercely as we started, but driving made life 
tolerable and some heavy clouds came rolling up which made us 
fear a thunderstorm. The Haigh Aliens drove up, then the Harry 
Dews, and the party was complete. So the company and provisions 
were packed into the four carriages and the procession set out 
through the narrow lanes. The girls ran out into the porches of 
the quaint picturesque old-fashioned farm houses of the Golden 
Valley to see the string of horses and carriages and the gay dresses 
of the ladies, an unwonted sight to the dwellers in the Golden 
Valley. At die foot of the Castle Hill we got out and every one 
carried something up the steep slippery brown bare grass slopes. 

The first thing of course was to scale the Castle mound and climb 
up the ruins of the Keep as far as might be. It was fearfully slippery 
and the ladies gallantly sprawled and struggled up and slithered down 
again. Then a fire was to be lighted to boil potatoes which had been 
brought with us. Rival attempts were made to light fires, Bridge 
choosing a hole in the ruins and Powell preferring a hollow in the 
ground. Powell, however, wisely possessed himself of the pot and 
potatoes so that though the other fire was lighted first it was of no 
use and the divided party reunited and concentrated their minds 
and energies upon the fire in the hollow. Three sticks were propped 
together, meeting in a point, gipsy fashion, and from them was 
hung the pot, full of new young potatoes just covered with water. 
Wood was picked up off the ground and torn out of a dry hedge 
and a fierce fire was soon roaring under the pot making the trees 
and banks opposite quiver and swim in the intense heat. The flames 
soon burnt through one of the supports and when the fire was at 
the fiercest down came the three sticks and the pot upside down 
hissing into the midst of the flames. The pot lid flew off, out rushed 
the water and potatoes and a cloud of steam arose from the fire. 
Arthur Oswald gallantly rescued the pot with a pot hook in spite 
of the intense heat which was very difficult to endure. There were 
loud cries and everyone was giving unheeded advice at once. At 
length the pot was settled upright on the embers, more water having 


been poured in, and another armful of dry wood heaped upon it, 
so that the pot was in the midst of a glowing fire. Twenty minutes 
passed, during which the gentlemen stood round the fire staring at 
the pot, while the ladies got flowery wreaths and green and wild 
roses to adorn the dishes and table cloth spread under an oak tree 
and covered with provisions. Then the pot hook was adjusted, the 
pot heaved and swung off the fire, a fork plunged into the potatoes 
and they were triumphantly pronounced to be done to a turn. Then 
there was a dispute how they should be treated. *Pour away the 
water*, said one. *Let the water stay in the pot 9 , said another. 'Steam 
the potatoes', 'Pour them out on the ground', 'Hand them round in 
the pot', 'Put them on a plate', 'Fish them out with a fork*. They 
were, however, poured out on the ground and then the pot fell upon 
them, crushing some and blackening others. Eventually the potatoes 
were handed round the table doth, every one being most assiduous 
and urgent in recommending and passing them to hi neighbour. 
There was plenty of meat and drink, the usual things, cold chicken, 
ham and tongue, pies of different sorts, salads, jam and gooseberry 
tarts, bread and cheese. Splendid strawberries from Clifford Priory 
brought by the Haigh Aliens. Cup of various kinds went round, 
claret and hock, champagne, cider and sherry, and people sprawled 
about in all attitudes and made a great noise Henry Dew was the 
life of the party and kept the table in a roar. After luncheon the 
gentlemen entrenched themselves upon a fragment of the Castle wall 
to smoke and talk local news and politics and the ladies wandered 
away by themselves. At last we all met upon the mound where 
Mary Bevan and someone else had been trying to sketch the Keep, 
and sat in a great circle whilst the remains of the cup, wine, and soda 
water were handed round. Then we broke up, the roll of the car- 
riages was heard coming through the lanes below and everyone seized 
upon something to carry down the steep slippery grass slopes. 

At the Rectory we strolled about the garden. Dinner was an- 
nounced, quite unnecessarily as far as I was concerned, for I wanted 
nothing. The room too was steaming hot. After dinner the carpet 
was taken up in the drawing-room and. there was a dance on the 
slippery dart oak floor which was sadly scratched and scored by 
the nailed boots of the gentlemen and some of the ladies. Tom 
Powell slipped and fell. Tom Brown, dancing a waltz with his 
nephew Arthur Oswald, came down with a crash that shook the 


house and was immediately seized head and heels by Henry Dew and 
Mr. Allen and carried about the room. We danced the Lancers, and 
finished with Jim Rufen but it was almost too hot. Then the 
carriages were ordered and we came away. 

The drive home in the cool of the evening was almost the 
pleasantest part of the day. The light was so strong that we could 
hardly believe it was ten o'clock. The longest day, and the strong 
light glow in the North showed that the Midsummer sun was only 
just travelling along below the horizon, ready to show again in 
five hours. Passing by Hawkswood and the ghost-haunted pond we 
told ghost stories until Mrs. Oswald was almost frightened out of the 

Wednesday, 22 June 

It was settled some time ago that my father and Perch should go 
-a-fishing to Llangorse Lake and stay a night there. Today was fixed 
on for the expedition. At dinner time my Father kindly asked me 
to be one of the party. My Father went down to the Lake while 
J. and I proceeded to Stephen Pritchard's house to .see if we could 
get beds and a boat. Pritchard was out fishing on the Lake but his 
housekeeper told us we could have supper and three beds, and the 
boatman Evans went down with us to the landing stage. Stephen 
Pritchard's house stands upon the common very near the Lake, 
almost hidden in a bosoming bower of trees. On the square hedge- 
guarded lawn in front of the cottage a picnic party from Brecon, a 
number of girls in light dresses and young men, were seated on green 
benches round a green table covered with a white cloth in a shady 
corner having tea or dinner. 

Evans the Monmouthshire boatman rowed us past the island to 
the edge of a field of perch weed, but the weather was too dry and 
hot for fishing, the fish were sulky or sick, and all we caught was 
five little perch. To me, however, the fishing was of very little 
consequence. I had not expected to catch anything and was not dis- 
appointed. The beauty of the evening and the Lake was extra- 
ordinary, and in the west the Fan stood grand and blue and peaked 
like a volcano. The feathery perch weeds Graved like forests under 
water, the cuckoo was calling about the bills and around the lake, 
though he has done singing at Clyro and is gone, or at least is silent. 
From the lake shores came musical cattle calls, taint shouts, the bark- 


ing of dogs and the melocjious sounds of; evening. The boatman 
told us that within the last ten years the American weed had crept 
into the dyke and was spreading fast all over it and doing much 
mischief. There used to be a great quantity of grebe, he said, but 
they had been slaughtered without mercy. Tern came here in 
numbers and last Christmas a bittern was shot on the common near 
Pritchard's house. 

The picnic party now came from the house to the landing stage 
and we saw them embark and push off. The boatman said the men 
were dissenting ministers and he laughed at them, calling them 'duck 
merchants'. I asked what he meant and he said it was a regular local 
name for these persons because they were fond of ducks. They 
had a boat load of ducks on board now at any rate and they seemed 
to be having good fun for we heard the girls screaming and laughing 
across the water. Then they began to sing a rather pretty air. 
Another boat passed us with some students of Trevecca College 
rowing towards land. Meantime from the picnic party in the other 
boat came distant sounds of loud screaming and laughter as if a great 
romp were going on and as if the girls were being kissed and tickled. 
Friday, Midsummer Day 

Up at 6.30 and to breakfast at Cae Mawr soon after 7.30. Perch 
ready for a walk to Llanthony. 

[Here follows an account of the walk.] 

When we entered the Abbey precincts the courtyard was swarming 
with people. Some were walking about, some sitting down under 
the penthouse on either side of the Abbey Tavern door, some stand- 
ing in knots and groups talking. The kitchen too was buzzing and 
swarming like a hive. Beauchamp came forward and met us and 
we were shown into the upper long room. Here the servant girl 
Sarah told us that it was Mr. Arnold Savage Lander's rent day. 
Mrs. Beauchamp came in and said she was afraid she could not cook 
anything for .us as there was so much cooking going on in the 
kitchen for the tenants* dinners. However, she promised us some 
bread, butter, cheese and beer and boiled eggs. While these things 
were being got ready we amused ourselves by looking out of the 
window at the people in the green courtyard below. A tent or 
rather an awning had been reared against the wall of the Lady 
Chapel. The wind flapped the canvas sides and strained at the ropes. 

48 KILVERT'S DIARY [j ttfy 

The doth was spread on the table. No viands had yet appeared but 
a savoury reek pervaded the place and the tantalized tenants Walked 
about lashing their tails, growling and snufEng up the scent of food 
hungrily like Welsh wolves. 

For our part we consumed 18 eggs Amongst us and a propor- 
tionate amount of bread, cheese, butter and beer. 

Wednesday, 29 June 

Going to 'the school I met two strange looking people, a young 
man and a girl. He was dressed entirely in white flannel edged with 
black and wore a straw hat. He looked like a sailor. They hesitated 
a moment at the Churchyard gate, then turned in and walked across 
the Churchyard and I saw them no more. 

Saturday, 2 July 

My Father left us for Langley . At the station sitting in the waiting 
shed was a man dressed in a slop with his head entirely covered with 
a black shawl except a patch of white handkerchief over the face, 
The shawl was arranged like an animal's snout. Not a feature was 
visible. He looked strange, horrible, unearthly, half like a masked 
burglar and half like a snouted beast. The station people knew 
nothing of him except that he came down the road from Clifford* 
I suppose he had met with some fearful accident which had 
disfigured his face. 

There seemed to be a good deal of disputing and quarrelling 
through the village about yesterday's sale and the things bought, 
A quarrel arose at the New Inn and Henry Warnell the gipsy came 
cursing, shouting and blaspheming down the road into the vilkge 
mad with rage because someone had accused him of something and 
threatened *to send him back to Hereford where he was before',, 
the sting of the remark lying in this fact that the gipsy had just come 
out of Hereford jail where he has been undergoing sentence for 
assaulting and kicking William Price the innkeeper. The whole 
village was in an uproar, some taking one part and some another, 
and it was long before the storm died away and the gipsy's wrath 
was appeased and his sense of honour satisfied. 

Monday, 4 July 

Since the inspection 1 the classes and standards at the school have 
1 This took place on'the ist July. 



been rearranged and Gipsy Lizzie has been put into my reading 
class. How is the indescribable beauty of that most lovely face to be 
described -the dark soft curls parting back from the pure white 
transparent brow, the exquisite little mouth and pearly tiny teeth, 
the pure straight delicate features, the long dark fringes and white 
eyelids that droop over and curtain her eyes, when they are cast 
down or bent upon her book, and seem to rest upon the soft clear 
cheek, and when the eyes are raised, that clear unfathomable blue 
depth of wide wonder and enquiry and unsullied and unsuspecting 
innocence. Oh, child, child, if you did but know your own power. 
Oh, Gipsy, if you only grow up as good as you are fair. Oh, that 
you might grow up good. May all God's angels guard you, sweet. 
The Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make His Face to 
shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up His 
countenance upon thee peace, both now and evermore. Amen. 

Mr. Venables offered us the dog cart this afternoon, and we drove 
with the new bay horse from Tattersalls* to call at Wye Cliff. Then 
we drove to the castle where we found Mrs. and Miss Allen and 
Mrs. Sevan lying ill upon a sofa. It seems the young gentleman in 
flannels and the young lady whom I saw walking through Clyro 
village last Wednesday are young Lyne and his sister. They are 
staying at the Swan at Hay with their Father and Mother. Their 
brother Ignatius 1 is soon expected down to look after his monastery 
in the Black Mountain. They seem to be very odd people. The 
two young people came to Clyro Church on Sunday afternoon and 
when my Mother went up to the Church door she had to run the 
gauntlet between them as they sat on tombstones opposite each 
other kicking their .heels. They were at a croquet party at Hay 
Castle last week and young Lyne made himself very ridiculous 
taking off his hat when women spoke to him, and he persecuted 
poor little Fanny Thomas almost to the verge of distraction, taking 
off his hat to her whenever she made a stroke. After they came out 
of Ciyro Church on Sunday afternoon young Lyne grinned in a 
boy's face and said, alluding to Mr. Venables, who had performed 
the Service, 'What a very nice clergyman you have here'. In the 
evening of the same day the whole family were at Hay Church. 
When Church was over rain was falling and a number of people 
blocked the porch. The Lynes were all standing together one behind 

1 See footnote on p. 22. 

50 KILVERT'S DIARY [j H j y 

another. Crichton whispered in Mary Bevan's ear, 'Did you ever 
read a book called Line upon Line?' 

Wednesday, 6 July 

At 3 o'clock went to Wye Cliff by the meadows. The targets 
were pitched in the long green narrow meadow which runs down to 
the river and the summer houses, one of the prettiest archery grounds 
I ever saw, the high woods above and the river below. It was a 
pretty sight to see the group of ladies with their fresh light dresses 
moving up and down the long green meadow between the targets, 
and the arrows flitting and glancing white to and fro against tie 
bank of dark green trees. At 6 tea, coffee, cider cup, &c. was laid 
out in the summer house and when 3 dozen arrows had been shot 
we left off shooting and went to tea and I made up the scoie. All 
fhrough the hot burning afternoon how pleasant sounded the cool 
rush and roar of the Wye over its rapids & rocks at the end of the 

Thursday, 7 July 

At 5.30 started to walk to Clifford Priory to dinner, going to 
Hay across the fields. I arrived before any of the other guests and 
in the dark cool drawing room I found Mr. Allen, his brother Major 
Allen, and Major Allen's two bewitching pretty little girls, Geraldine 
and Edith. Fair Helen of Troy prettier than ever followed with her 
sister from Hardwick Vicarage, Henry Dew and Emily, Pope and 
Mr. Alien, Llanthomas, Mary and Grace. I took Lucy Allen in to 
dinner but was forcibly separated from her and sat opposite by 
Louisa Wyatt who talked Switzerland and saved me much trouble 
in finding conversation. It was a very nice pleasant dinner. No 
constraint, plenty of ice. Good champagne and the first salmon I 
have tasted this year, a nice curry, and the Riflemen strawberries 
(juite magnificent. Everyone in good spirits and tempers and full of 
talk. Clifford Priory is certainly one of the nicest most comfortable 
houses in this part of the country. The evening was exquisite and 
the party wandered out into the garden promiscuously after dinner 
under the bright moon which shone alone in the unclouded sky. 
When the party re-assembled in the drawing room there was music, 
and meanwhile I had a long talk in the recessed window and moon- 
light with Helen of troy. She and her sister were dressed prettily 
in blue, the most elegant and tasteful dresses I have seen this year, 

I8 7 o] AH GIPSY 51 

Mrs. Allen asked me to a croquet party here next Tuesday, and Mr. 
Allen asked me to luncheon at Oakfield on Monday when the 
Foresters are coming to his house. He brought me as far as Hay in 
the rumble of his most antiquated most comfortable old yellow 
chariot on C springs, very large broad and heavy and able to carry 
7 people. We had 6 on board, Airs. Allen, Thomas and Pope inside, 
I preferred the night air and the tramping of the fast mare. Going up 
the hills we had before us the antiquated figure of the old coachman 
against the sky and amongst the stars. So we steadily rumbled 
into Hay and there was a great light in the North shewing 
where the sun was travelling along below the horizon, and only 
just below. 

Saturday, 9 July 

It is a pretty lane this Bird's Nest lane, very shady and quiet, 
narrow and overbowered here and there with arching wyches and 
hazels. Sometimes my darling child Gipsy comes down to school 
this way, but more often she comes down Sunny Bank when the 
days are fine, and then over the stile by little Wern y Pentre. Yet 
often and often must those tiny feet have trodden this stony narrow 
green-arched lane, and those sweet blue eyes have looked down this 
vista to the blue mountains and those little hands have gathered 
flowers along these banks. O my child if you did but know. If you 
only knew that this lane and this dingle and these fields are sweet to 
me and holy ground for your sweet sake. But you can never know, 
and if you should ever guess or read the secret, it will be but a dim 
misty suspicion of the truth. Ah Gipsy. 

As I came up the hill Bengough was playing his harmonium. 
When I went back he was working in his cowyard. There was 
something like autumn, a suspicion of kte summer, a touch of 
autumnal stillness and melancholy in the afternoon. A great sultri- 
ness brooded over everything and made the air very oppressive and 
the mountains loomed dark blue. 

Savine, theplyro Court coachman, who is going to Jbe confirmed, 
came in at 8 o'clock to say that he could not stay tonight for his 
lecture as he had to go to the 9 o'clock train with a pony to meet his 
master returning from a cricket match near Hereford, the Wyeside 
Wanderers against Portway. Savine rather amused me by saying 
that he had been preparing himself for confirmation by reading 

52 KILVERT'S DIARY [j ulj 

Revelations. Tve read down Timothy too/ said he. How the 
Bishop would enjoy that. 


The view from my bedroom window looking up the dingle 
always reminds me of Norway, perhaps because of the spiry dark 
fir tops which rise above the lighter green trees. Often when I rise 
I look up to the white farm house of Penllan and think of the sweet 
grey eyes that have long been open and looking upon the pearly 
morning sky and the mists of the valley and the morning spread upon 
the mountains, and think of the young busy hands that have long 
been at work, milking or churning, with the sleeves rolled up the 
round arms as white and creamy as the milk itself, and the bright 
sweet morning face that the sunrise and the fresh early air have kissed 
into bloom and the sunny tresses ruffled by the mountain wind, and 
hope that the fatherless girl may ever be good, brave, pure and true. 
So help her God. The sun looks through her window which the 
great pear tree frames and lattices in green leaves and fruit, and the 
leaves move and flicker and throw a chequering shadow upon the 
white bedroom wall, and on the white curtains of the bed. And 
before the sun has touched the sleeping village in the shade below 
or has even struck the weathercock into a golden gleam, or has 
crept down the steep green slope of the lower or upper Bron, he 
has stolen into her bedroom and crept along the wall from chair to 
chair till he has reached the bed, and has kissed the fair hand and 
arm that lies upon the coverlet and the white bosom that heaves 
half uncovered after the restlessness of the sultry night, and has 
kissed her mouth whose scarlet lips, just parting in a smile and pout- 
ing like rosebuds to be kissed, show the pearly gleam of the white 
teeth, and has kissed the sweet face and the blue veined silky lashed 
eyelids and the white brow and the soft bright tangled hair, till she 
has unclosed the sweetest eyes that ever opened to the dawn, and 
risen and unfastened the casement and stood awhile breathing the 
fresh fragrant mountain air as it blows cool upon her flushed cheek 
and her hah veiled bosom, and lifts and ruffles her bright hair which 
still keeps the kiss of the sun. Then when she has dressed and prayed 
towards the east, she goes out to draw water from the holy spring 

St. Mary's Well. After which she goes about her honest holy wort 
all day long, with a light heart and a pure conscience. 


Tuesday, 12 July 

Walked to Clifford Priory across the fields with Crichton and 
Barton. Bevan and Morrell walked on before faster and got there 
before us. I had some pleasant talk with Barton, who is a clever 
well-read man, about Tennyson, Wordsworth, Mr. Monkhouse, the 
Holy Grail, and at last we got to Clifford Priory, very hot, a few 
people out in the sun on the lawn, and Lucy Allen came to meet us. 
A crowd in the. drawing room drinking claret cup iced and eating 
enormous strawberries. Gradually people turned out on the lawn. 
Everyone about here is so pleasant and fnendly that we meet almost 
like brothers and sisters. Great fun on the lawn, 6 cross games of 
croquet and balls flying in all directions. High tea at 7. 3 o and croquet 
given up. More than 40 people sat down. Plenty of iced claret cup, 
and unlimited fruit, very fine, especially the strawberries. 

After tea we all strolled out into the garden and stood on the high 
terrace to see the eclipse. It had just begun. The shadow was slowly 
steadily stretching over the large bright moon and had eaten away 
a small piece at the lower left side. It was very strange and solemn 
to see the shadow stealing gradually on till half the moon was ob- 
scured. As the eclipse went on the bright fragment of the moon 
seemed to change colour, to darken and icdden. We were well 
placed for seeing the eclipse and the night was beautiful, and most 
favourable, not a cloud in the way. We watched the eclipse till all 
that was left of the moon was a point of brightness like a large three- 
cornered star. Then it vanished altogether. Some people said they 
could discern the features of the moon's face through the black 

Meantime we strolled about in different groups and William 
Thomas and Crichton ran a race up the steep slippery terrace bank. 
The ladies' light dresses looked ghostly in the dusk and at a little 
distance it was almost impossible to tell which was a kdy in a white 
dress and which was a clump of tall white lilies. Mrs. and Miss 
Bridge and Miss Oswald in almost white dresses walked about 
together arm in arm covered with one scarlet shawl and Jack Dew 
called them 'the three angels'. When they heard this they said they 
believed that in reality he had called them 'the three demons'. We 
wandered up into the twilit garden and there among the straw- 
berries fastened to a little kennel by a collar and a light chain to keep 
the birds away was a most dear delightful white pussy, very like 


Polar. He was so delighted to see us that he walked round us 
purring loudly with his tail erect, rubbing himself against our legs, 
and he climbed up my leg as if it had been a tree. Three more cats 
were chained to kennels near the back door. 

Wednesday, 13 July 

Miss Lyne is a very nice sensible unaffected gill, rather pretty, with 
dark curls, grey eyes and a rich colour, and pretty little white hands. 
She is rather short. Her brother Clavering goes in for being comic 
and ends in being a bit of a buffoon. He has four dogs at the Swan 
now. His usual complement is thirteen. Miss Lyne told me a good 
deal about Father Ignatius and his monastery which she called 'his 
place* at Capel y Ffui. 

Friday, St. Swithins Day 

Familiar as this place is to me I am always noticing some fresh 
beauty or combination of beauties, light or shade, or a view from 
some particular point, where I have never been before at some 
particular hour and under some particular circumstances. 

To Hay Church at 6.30. Afterwards I went to the Castle and 
found Mrs. Bevan sitting in the drawing room in full chat with 
Miss Wybrow. We had tea and then I went down to the Swan 
with Fanny and Nelly to fetch Miss Lyne and her brother to play 
croquet. They were out and we went into the saloon to wait for 
them. Presently Miss Lyne passed the window with her quick decided 
step and we went out into the hall to meet her. She came forward 
and held out her hand so pleasantly, the beautiful little hand just 
what a lady's hand ought to be, 'small, soft, white, warm and dry*. 
Then we all tramped up into the town together and walked about 
with her while she went round to the shops paying their bills as they 
leave the Swan and Hay tomorrow for Hereford. And I am very 
sorry they are going, at least that she is going. It is so provoking 
that just as I have become acquainted with her and like her so much, 
and just as her shyness and reserve were beginning to wear off, and 
she had become so friendly and cordial, she goes away and perhaps 
I shall never see her again. 

Clavering Lyne told me some of die extraordinary visions which 
had appeared to his brother Father Ignatius, particularly about the 
ghosts which come crowding round him and which will never 
answer though he often speaks to them. Also about the fire in the 

I870J WAR 55 

monastery chapel at Norwich, that strange unearthly fire which 
Father Ignatius put out by throwing himself into it and making the 
sign of the cross. When the Lynes went away I walked with them 
tiD our roads parted. One more cordial clasp from the pretty white 
hand, 'Good night and Good bye'. Shah 1 1 confess how I longed to 
kiss that beautiful white little hknd, even at the imminent risk that 
it \\jould instantly administer a stinging slap on the face of its 

Saturday, i6July 

To-day we heard rumours of war and war itself. Henry Dew 
brought the news stated in the Qloloe that war had been declared by 
France against Prussia, the wickedest, most unjust most unreasonable 
war that ever was entered into to gratify the ambition of one man. I 
side with the Prussians and devoutly hope the French may never 
push France to the Rhine. Perhaps the war was a dire necessity to 
the Emperor to save himself and his dynasty. At all events the war 
is universally fearfully popular in France, and the French are in the 
wildest fever to go to the Rhine. 

The party at Pont Vaen divided itself into croquet and archery. 
High tea at 7 just before which someone managed to shoot a chicken 
with an arrow, or it was said so, and Margaret Oswald told me that 
as I put my head through the railings to rake a croquet ball out of 
the field on to the lawn, my head looked so tempting that she felt 
greatly inclined to shoot at it. Certainly there would have been this 
comfort that if she had shot at me I should have been very much 
safer than if she had not, because wherever else the arrow might 
have gone, it certainly would not have hit me. 

At tea I sat between Miss and Mrs. Oswald and opposite a 
tongue. May I never sit opposite a tongue again, at least if I have to 
carve it with a new round-headed small knife as blunt as a fruit 
knife. I heaved and hacked away at the tongue, cut it up into small 
bits, and made a complete wreck and ruin of it. The more the knife 
would not cut and the less tongue there was to give, the more people 
seemed to want it and asked me to send them some. 

After tea Mrs. Bridge took us round into the garden to show us 
her hives. One bee instantly flew straight at me and stung me 
between the eyes, as I was poking about the hives in my blind way. 
I did not say anything about it and Mrs. Bridge congratulated me 


on my narrow escape from being stung. All the while the miserable 
bee was buzzing about entangled in my beard, having left his sting 
between my eyes. Consequently I suppose he was in his dying 
agony. Then we walked round the garden and along the water 
walk, while the water ran out of my eyes. The pretty waterfall did 
not show to advantage beneath the bridge for the brook ran very 
low and humble. Then a wild nonsensical game of croquet jn the 
dark, everyone playing at the same time, and screams of laughter 
which might be heard almost in the Hay. 

Tuesday, 19 July 

Left Chippenham 11.35 by the down mail with a tourist ticket 
for Truro. The first few miles of Cornwall looked bleak, barren 
and uninteresting, the most striking feature being the innumerable 
mine works of lead, tin, and copper crowning the hills with their 
tall chimney shafts and ugly white dreary buildings, or nestling in 
a deep narrow valley, defiling and poisoning the streams with the 
white tin washing. 

The country soon grew prettier, die prevailing feature of the 
landscape being low rounded hills like those of Radnorshire .divided 
by very deep narrow valleys or ravines which the great timber 
viaducts crossed continually at a ghastly height in the air. The hill 
sides were clothed with a rich luxuriance of wood, chiefly oak. A 
man was mowing oats. Purple heather bloomed in great bunches 
and bushes along the railway embankments, like broom with us, 
A sea fog, which enveloped the hills like a mist of small rain and 
blotted out the distance, crept up the valleys along the streams and 
rose against the dark green oakwoods. H. 1 met me at Truro (where 
we changed for Perranwell) and drove me in the pony carriage from 
Perranwell to TuUimaar. The fulfilment of two years* drearh. 

Thursday, 21 July 

Breakfast 645. Mrs. H. drove us in the pony carriage to Perran- 
well Station in time for the 7.35 train to Hayle. The journey lay 
through a great mining district chiefly tin. The bowels of the 
earth ripped open, turned inside out in the search for metal ore, the 
land defiled and cumbered with heaps an'd wastes of slag and 
rubbish, and the waters poisoned with tin and copper washings. 
The Cornish villages bare bleak barren and ugly, whitewashed and 
l Hockin 

j8 7 o] THE CORNISH SEA 57 

often unsheltered by a single tree, grouped or scattered about 
mountainous wastes. 

About Godrevy and all along the North coast there are a great 
many seals. Once at Godrevy the H's saw a fearful battle between 
a seal and a large conger eel. The seal had got his teeth into the 
conger and the conger had coiled his folds round the seal's neck 
and was trying to choke him. The seal kept on throwing up his head 
and trying to toss the conger up out of the water that he might have 
more power than the eel. It was a fierce and dreadful fight, but at 
last the seal killed the conger. - 

The Vicar of St. Ives says the smell offish there is sometimes so 
terrific as to stop the church clock. 

We did not know it at the time but while we were enjoying our- 
selves on the beach a poor miner who had gone out to bathe in his 
dinner hour was drowning in the bay very near us. The sea fog dame 
rolling up from the Atlantic in. a dense purple bank, and the sea 
changed colour to a deep dark green. 

Friday, 22 July 

Miss^ Emily and Miss Charlotte Hockin came from Truro to 
breakfast at 8.30. At 9.30 we all started to drive to Mullion in a 
nice roomy waggonette, large enough to carry 10 people, drawn 
by a pair of gallant greys. Drove through St. Stithians to Gweek 
where we stopped to lunch by a hedge side and brook while one of 
the horses, who had cast a shoe just before, was being shod. A 
pretty road through woods and fields and across one or two trout 
streams, but still through a mining country, the mine stacks, works 
and chimneys rising white on every hill. Soon after this we got into 
the Serpentine district. The roads were made of marble, black 
marble, the dust of which looked like coal dust. The country 
became very wild and timber almost disappeared. Along the road- 
sides grew large bushes 3 and 4 feet high of beautiful heather, white, 
pink, and rose colour, growing as freely as gorse grows with us. 
We stopped the carriage and gathered some fine sprays. The 
splendour and luxuriance of the heather, I never saw anything like 
this before. 

The strong square tower of Mullion Church stood up before us 
against the sky on the hill top as we mounted the last rise, and then 
the glimpse of the bay and the broad blue Cornish sea. Drove 


through the village to the Old Inn. Kept by Mary Mundy, a 
genuine Cornish Celt, and a good specimen of one, impulsive, 
warm-hearted, excitable, demonstrative, imaginative, eloquent! 
We went into a sitting room upstairs, unpacked the hampers, 
and ordered dinner to be ready when we came back in an hour's 
time. The sitting room was over the stable and we heard the horses 
stamping underneath. The window looked out over a waving field 
of reddening wheat which grew close up to the cottage wall, and 
the swaying ears of which were not far below the window sill. 

[A walk is described.] 

The kdies had not come in when we returned to the Old Inn 
and we had to wait dinner for them a long time. At length they 
appeared scarlet and almost exhausted, for the heat was tremendous 
and they had followed us over the cliffs, finishing up by losing their 
way, struggling across country over fences and through standing 
corn. They were almost too much exhausted to eat, and we were 
delayed until kte in the afternoon. 

At last we got off and drove to Kynance Cove. The carriage was 
left on the moors (or 'CrofY as it is called here) above, and we 
scrambled down into die Cove. The tide was ebbing fast and it 
was nearly low water. We wandered about through the Dining 
Room and Drawing Room Caves, and among the huge Serpentine 
Clifis and the vast detached rocks which stand like giants guarding 
the Cove. I never saw anything like the wonderful colour of the 
serpentine rocks, rich, deep, warm, variegated, mottled and streaked 
and veined with red, green and white, huge blocks and masses of 
precious stone marble on every side, an enchanted cove, the palace 
of the Nereids. 

La one of the Serpentine shops at the Lizard there was a storied 
Cornish Chough. He is an elegantly shaped black bird cleanly made 
with red or orange beak and legs. He is very rarely found now even 
along the Cornish Cliffs. 

Saturday, 23 July 

Mrs. H. has two pet toads, which live together in a deep hole in 
the bottom of a stump of an old tree. She feeds them with bread 
crumbs when they are, at home, and they make a funny litde 
plaintive squeaking noise when she calls them. Sometimes they are 
from home especially in the evenings. 


In the kitchen live a pair of doves in a large cage, and the house is 
filled with their soft sweet deep cooing. 

Wednesday, 27 July 

To the Land's End. Early breakfast at 7 and desperate rush to 
7.35 train at Perranwell, Mrs. H. driving in the pony carriage, H. 
and I running the short cut by the Church for bare life like rabbits. 
Caught the Truro train by one minute. From Truro to Penzance 
by rail. Capt. and Mrs. Parker and Miss Lewis got in at Camborne 
from Rosewarne to join the picnic. By the time we reached 
Penzance I was becoming rather cooler. St. Michael's Mount in 
mist and the sea very smooth. H. had telegraphed to the Western 
Hotel, Penzance, for a carriage and pair, and we were met at the 
station by a small waggonette with a bay and grey. With some 
difficulty we stowed all the hampers on board and set off driving 
along the beach for some distance till we turned inland along the 
pretty road to the cross road made by the meeting of the four beau- 
tiful avenues. A little further on an oak arched completely over the 
road, and the driver, Edward Noy, said that no other oak arched 
the road between this place and London. 

There were some long steep hills on the road but the horses in 
perfect training took us up and down capitally. Gapt. Parker was 
the life of the party and kept the waggonette in a roar. Egg sand- 
wiches went round and presently we stopped to have sherry all 
round. When we were ready to go on Capt. Parker said to Mrs. H., 
'If we wanted a donkey to go on what would you say?' Then he 
added instantly in a loud voice, 'Proceed, Edward/ There was a 
roar from the waggonette, everyone was convulsed, and Edward 
grinned a tremendous grin, looked somewhat red and foolish, and 
proceeded amidst a storm of kughter. It was a very merry party. 
The Scilly telegraph wire accompanied us along the road. 

The horses were put up at the inn and we walked by a narrow 
pass cut in the cliffs and over steep slippery rock slopes and ledges 
to the Logan Stone. At the foot of the steep rock on which the 
Logan Stone is balanced a man stood ready to show the way up, 
and when he saw me coming he began to run up just like a monkey. 
His action was so sudden, strange and wild, and so exactly that of a 
monkey clambering up the bars of his cage, that I looked to see 
whether he had a tail. He helped me up capitally with knee and hand. 


I could never have got up by myself for the rock faces were very 
steep, smooth and slippery. The guide wanted to put me up on to 
the top of the Logan Stone but I declined. He shewed me the deft 
in the cliff into which the Logan Stone rolled when Lieutenant 
Goldsmith and his crew upset it. The guide first put his shoulder 
under the stone and rocked it, and then I did the same. It rods 
perceptibly though very slightly. But it has never rocked so well 
and easily since it was wilfully thrown down. The perfect balance 
of nature could never be restored. 

I found the rest of the party waiting for me sitting on the oppo- 
site rock. An elderly grizzled man in a blue slop was offering 
photographs for sale. He was a boy when the Logan Stone was 
upset 46 years ago, and he remembered its being replaced. 

As we returned to the wild granite village along the field paths 
a rude vulgar crew of tourists (real British) passed us going down 
to the cliffs, grinning like dogs, and one of the male beasts said in 
a loud insolent voice evidently meant for us to hear, 'I hope they 
haven't upset the Logan Rock'. For a moment I devoudy wished 
that we had. 

The village was a paradise of black pigs which lay about in the 
gkre of the sun under the hot granite walls par-roasted but in great 

At the inn we had some ale and cider. The horses were put to and 
we drove on to the nearest point which we could reach by carriage. 
Here H., Captain P. and I alighted, waved adieu to the ladies, who 
drove on to the Land's End while we walked to the same point 
along the coast and over the line of magnificent cliffs and head- 
lands which stand between. 

[The walk is described.] 

Crossing the croft near the Inn while gathering heath Capt P. 
killed a snake or viper with his stick, ripped it open with his knife 
and found three young mice inside. Edward Noy came to meet us, 
saying the ladies were waiting for us down among the rocks, and 
sure enough they, were waiting and had been waiting for an hour 
or more. Famished they were and some of them sleeping for hunger. 

The Inn and a tent outside the house were occupied by a large 
vulgar picnic party, so we had our nice dinner among the rocks in 
aristocratic simplicity and seclusion. A duke is truly a lordly dish. 


told that the wind here at times is so furious that four men 

;en wanted to take a lady out of her carriage and carry her 

; Inn. Two young men have been needed to take an old man 

vork, supporting him one on each side against the wind. A 

5 has been lifted up into the air by- the wind with its wheels 

g round. The panels and windows of a carriage have been 

and scratched by the granite-dust and sand (which when 

by the wind cuts and scores like diamond dust) that the 

i has had to be repainted and the windows replaced because 

ere so scratched that it was impossible to see through them. 

mes the Inn windows have to be barricaded as if a storm 

balls was expected. 

r dinner Capt. P. took Miss Lewis and me down to the Land's 

little triangular point of rock reached by passing round to 

svard side of a tall upright shaft of cliff. The accomplishment 

Id dream. 

ling back we met a noisy rabble of tourists, males and females, 

r down the rocks towards the Land's End as if they meant 

ik their necks, and no great loss either. The rest of the 

rable snobs had of course been endeavouring to insult the 

and Capt. Parker suggested that a kicking might tend to 

heir manners. 

-e back to Penzance. 

s Penzance. 

kove down the old long Market Jew Street, stopped at the 

nger's, and then past the Market Jew Chapel under repair 

several coffined children have lately been found stopped into 

ind comers in the roof. Probably they were unbaptized 


Penzance people and especially the women are said to be the 

unest in Cornwall. 

hursday, 28 July 

. H. drove me to Truro in the pony carriage. Shopping, and 
ire joined the Truro Hockins and a party of their friends, 
people chiefly, for a picnic down the river. We rowed or 
were rowed by boatmen down to Tregothnan, two boat- 
:>f us, the hostess very nervous and fearful lest both boats 
, go to the bottom. We landed just above Tregothnan and 


walked up through pretty woods to the beautiful Church of St 
Michael Pen Kev2, restored by Lord Falmouth at a great expense. 

Some of the party waited outside for us in the drive and we 
walked up to the house, and down the other hill to the boat house 
just above which we had tea all across the road completely obstruct- 
ing the thoroughfare. Our hostess reclined gracefully on her side 
up the slope of a steep bank and thus enthroned or embedded 
dispensed tea and heavy cake and was 'most hospitable. The young 
lacfies remarked with severity upon H. and myself for not being 
sufficiently attentive to their pretty wants. How could we be so 
inattentive to such fascinating creatures? They suggested it was 
because we were taking such uncommonly good care of ourselves. 
Listen to the voice of the Charmers. Is not this a caution to snakes? 
Charmeth she wisely? 

I unhappily mistook butter for cream (Tell it not in Truro) and 
was much concerned about our hostess lest she roll down the bank 
into the river. Also I was exceedingly puzzled to find out how it 
was that she did not so roll, for what was to hinder iV? 

The youngest girl, Agatha, I think, planted herself before me and 
demanded impetuously and imperiously in a loud voice, 'What do 
you want?' 'A kiss', said I mischievously, whereat she flung off in 
high disdain without a word. But being of a forgiving nature she 
presently returned and brought me some food. 

After tea the young ladies rowed us across the river to see Old 
Quay Tower. The tide was too low to admit of our landing, but 
the pinnacles of the old tower looked pretty among the trees in the 
sunset. Young lady affectations, peculiarities, vagaries, &c., &c., 

Friday, 29 July 

A most delightful expedition and picnic at Gurnards Head. We 
drove to Camborne in the pony carriage and got to Rosewarne at 
n. A krge omnibus and pair, was waiting to drive us on with the 
Parkers* party. I preferred going outside to see the country. The 
road not very bad, but the hills severe and our miserable horses 
nearly gruelled, almost fainting from thirst and fatigue, all abroad 
scrambling and staggering all over the place. Once in a narrow 
part of the road the wheel tottered on the edge of a bank. We 
yawed about frightfully, the horses were too much done to pull 


straight or steady. Another lurch and we should have gone head 
over heels into the field below, such a roly poly, broken bones if 
nothing worse and the doctor to pay. Happily there was one on 
board. Then the tyre of the near face wheel almost came off, and 
had to be inadequately tinkered on again. 

Captain Parker came outside with me. We were consulting 
his map and looking at the country. A sudden shout from the 
bowels of the omnibus, ' Wo-way-halt hold hard/ 'What's the row?' 
called Capt. Parker from the top of the omnibus, craning down to 
see what was the matter inside. 'The sherry's flying all about/ was 
the reply. 'Miss Lewis has upset every drop of hers/ A roar of 
inextinguishable laughter, sherry all round, and 'Proceed, Edward*. 
The horses were driven into a pond in order to drink and cool 
their heels and tighten the tyres of the omnibus wheels. (What 
a beautifully accidental couplet.) Then we came to Zennor, the 
strange old tower in the granite wilderness in a hollow of the wild 
hillside, a corner and end of the world, desokte, solitary, bare, 
dreary, the cluster of white and grey houses round the massive old 
granite Church tower, a sort of place that might have been quite lately 
discovered and where 'fragments of forgotten peoples might dwell*. 
'None of your larks', said Capt. Parker occasionally and reprovingly 
to the people inside. But he was the most larky of the party. 

We were encouraged to hold on tight to the roof of the omnibus 
by the intelligence that a Captain had fallen from the box seat of 
this very omnibus a few weeks ago and had been killed. 

At last we got to the Gurnards Head Hotel, the gentlemen 
walking across some fields while the kdies drove swiftly round. 
Then the scrimmage of unpacking the hampers and everybody of 
course in everybody's else way. A capital dinner indoors, the 
Tullirnaar * dukes 9 delicious and I actually ate and liked a slice of 
melon and like Oliver Twist asked for 'more'. Memorable day. 
How do all the ghosts of those- rejected melons now rise up and 
accuse me. 

Dinner over and another scrimmage of repacking got through. 
We all streamed out down to the Head. 

Oh that sunny happy evening gathering ferns among the CMs. 
Asplenium Marinum, with its bright glossy green leaves, hiding 
itself so provokingly in the narrowest crevices of the rocks. I wan- 
dered round the cfifB to the broken rocks at the furthest point of the 


Head, and sat alone amongst the wilderness of broken shattered 
tumbled cliffs, listening to the booming and breaking of the waves 
below and watching the flying skirts of the showers of spray. 
Perfect solitude. The rest of the party were climbing about in the 
rocks somewhere 'overhead, but not a voice or sound was to be 
heard except the boom of the sea and the crying of the white- 
winged gulls. Not a sign or vestige of any other living thing. 

A scramble up among the rocks to search for ferns for Mrs. H. 
Not very successful, and H. had got her some much finer ones, but 
she did not despise mine, though they were very poor little ones in 

The rest of the party had come down from a scrambling like 
goats and conies in the high rocks, the ladies having had to mount 
by means of the gentlemen's backs and knees. 

We returned by Penzance hearing it was a better road, and we did 
not repent of it. 

It was getting very chilly on the top of the omnibus. Mrs. H. very 
kindly sent me out her waterproof cloak to put on and oh how 
warm and comfortable it was. We reached Camborne soon after 
II and sat down to dinner or supper at midnight at Rosewarne, 
that hospitable house, after depositing some of the party at their 
own houses in the town. Mrs. Parker is an admirable hostess. I took 
her in to supper and had some talk with her about Wales and 
Monmouthshire where she used to live. She tells me her brother 
has lately taken Bronllys Castle in Breconshire. The dining 
room at Rosewarne is beautifully hung round with horns, 
antelope, stag, gnu, buffalo, Sec. &c. We left the hospitable house 
at i and got home about 3 in the morning. Daylight had not 
appeared, but it was a dear case of *We won't go home till 
morning*. As we passed down the creekside the masts of a vessel 
showed against the sky. A sailing lighter had come up the creek 
at high tide with a load of limestone and was lying at the quay 
waiting to unload and go down again with the next tide. 

This morning we met two girls smartly dressed and driving cows 
to market with parasols up. 

Friday, 5 August 

The last pleasant excursion. The last happy day. Martin had been 
sent to Falmouth overnight for a carriage and horse and brought 


back a grey heavy horse and hooded carriage- in which he drove us 
this morning to Godrevy. 

We called at Camborne (Rosewarne) to leave an Inverness cloak 
which Capt. Parker lent me to drive home in last Friday, and the 
kind hospitable people made us promise to call on our return and 
have supper or something. 

Redruth Market and people hurrying about with conger eels. 

Sorrowful dreams. 

We met with several sharp white squalls and had all to crowd for 
shelter under the hood with an umbrella up in front. 

H. suggested that passers by would say, 'There go a lady and 
gentleman with a child/ 

The road led us along the top of the cliffs. 

Leaving Mrs. H. in the carriage to drive on to Gwythian Church 
Town, H. and I struck across the down to see the British Church 
buried in the sand. 

We came to the place suddenly and without warning and looked 
down into the church as into a long pit. The sand is drifted solid 
up to the very top of the outside wans. The walls are about four 
feet high measured from the inside. So far they are almost perfect. 
The material is granite with a good deal of pure felspar, of which 
I brought away a pretty pink piece. The church is quite a small 
building, oblong, a door and window place still perceptible, and 
the faint remains of the rude pillars of a chancel arch still to be made 
out. Within the memory of persons still living the altar was standing, 
but the place has got into the hands of a dissenting farmer who 
keeps the place for a cattle yard and sheep fold and what more 
need be said. I do wish that some people of influence in the neigh- 
bourhood would bestir themselves and rescue from utter destruc- 
tion and oblivion this most interesting relic of the earliest British 
Christianity, that which came to us direct from the East. 

Probably there was a Christian Church at Gwythian before 
St. Augustine landed in England to bring us the Roman version 
of Christianity. 

These sand hills are very restless, always shifting. They over- 
whelm ancient buildings and then reveal them after they have been 
hidden for centuries. The sand passes on in its progress to form 
hills elsewhere and gives up its prey. Suddenly the monument 
ind relic of an olden world and more primitive ancient simple 


religion is revealed. The sand and the centuries have been kinder 
than the dissenting farmer. 

We found Mrs. H. waiting for us at Gwythian Church, and 
crossing the moor we caught sight of the top of Godrevy Light- 
house over the line of sand to wans, and heard the roaring of the sea. 

I took a great fancy to this village by the sea, with its nice Church 
and schools. The curate complained a good deal about the people 
and their ineradicable tendency to dissent. 

In the churchyard is the grave of a former curate of Gwythian, 
a Mr. Drury, who was drowned amongst the rocks near Godrevy 
on Palm Sunday evening, 1865. It is supposed that his dog pulled 
him into one of these horrible deep chasms and crevices amongst 
the rocks, or that he fell in whilst playing with his dog and pushing 
him into the water, for he was a beautiful swimmer and would not 
have been drowned probably in open water. The body was found 
among the rocks by a man gathering sand or seaweed on the 

shore, and brought home in his cart. 
There is a coloured windov 

ow in the church to Drury's memory. 
In the churchyard, overhanging the road, is a magnificent fruit- 
bearing fig tree, covering a vast space of ground. The figs on the 
top of the tree only ripen and become fit to eat. The horse was put 
in the carriage again and we drove heavily through the deep sand 
to the shore, passing a red river and tin stamping works rattling 
clanking pounding away amongst the sand hills. 

The horse was put up at a farm house and Martin ordered to beg 
borrow or (not steal, but) take some corn for him, and then bring 
up the luncheon hamper to the rocks. Martin appeared with the rug 
and basket and we had luncheon. He amused me by retiring to 
a respectful distance with his share of the provender and grinning 
over a rock, nothing but his black head to be seen, like a seal with 
a tall hat on. After luncheon we went down on the beach to look 
for sea anemones among the rocks and pools at low water for Mrs, 
H. We found a green one. H. and I went out nearly to the end of 
the rocks where the waves were plunging and flying in foam over 
the reef, and presently we saw a large seal a hundred yards off 
fishing among the rocks near the shore. His black head was like 
a dog swimming and something like the head of a. man. He dived 
suddenly, then came up again, disappeared again, and once more 
appeared with his large black shiny head not more than 50 yards 


from us, stationary, floating and riding easily, rising and falling with 
the swell, sometimes looking round at us with his great bright eye. 
It was the first seal I had ever seen wild, and I was delighted. 

Grapes and claret on a grassy bank and we drove back to 
Camborne reaching Rosewarne at 7. 

We walked round the pretty flower gardens and fine kitchen 
garden and visited the ferns and fruit houses. Dinner at 8 and a most 
admirable conger eel. I had no idea conger was so good, or good 
at all. As we drove away the church clock struck ten and the 
granite pillars sparkled in the moonlight. 

Home at midnight and hot supper, roast fowl. 

Saturday, 6 August 

Up at 6. Finished packing and rushed down the Truro drive to 
get some sprays from the bush of white heather. The trees were 
all dripping from early showers, the tears of the morning. The 
morning was fresh cool and lovely and the beautiful place looked 
more beautiful than ever. 

H. drove me and my luggage to the first train, 7.35. A hurried 
rush but we arrived a minute too kte. There was nothing for it but 
to leave the luggage at the station and return to Tullimaar to wait 
for the next train at 11.5 After the first feeling of annoyance and 
disappointment I was glad to have missed the train as it gave me 
another pleasant morning. 

The morning sunshine and shadows of the overhanging trees 
chequered and dappled the fish pond, and the gold and silver fish 
gleamed as they sailed from shadow into sunlight. Mrs. H. was 
planting ferns, the Gurnard's Head Asplenium, in the potting house, 
and I leaned on the window sill outside watching her and making 
ker laugh with Cowper's 'Tithing Time'. 'The Parson merry is 
and blithe' &c. 

The second parting. 

And so endeth a very happy time. 

Monday, 8 August 

Today came the news of the two battles of Forbach and Woerth 
won by the Prussians on Saturday. "France is reeling under two 
fearful blows.* I read this sentence in the StandaTd in the High St. 
Chippenham whilst waiting for my Mother at Noyes* shop door, 
in tie carriage. 


Tuesday, 9 August 

Wharry the Chemist told us he had been in Normandy, found it 
very uncomfortable, was mobbed, and very glad to get out of the 
country. He says unless you go all lengths with the French and 
take their part through thick and thin they consider that you are 
against them, and accordingly treat you as an enemy. 

Thursday, 1 1 August 

The weather has become intensely hot again. There are such 
quantities of apricots this year and they all ripen so fast together 
that there is no knowing what to do with them. A great number 
have been given away. 

Old John Bryant told my Father today as they were talking about 
the War that he remembered the news -coming that the King of 
France's head had been cut off. He was a boy at the time, 13 years 
old, helping to drain a field near Bull's Copse at Tytherton, and he 
heard the men with whom he was working talking about the news 
that had just come. 

[The diarist returns to Clyro.] 

Monday, 15 August 

This being the Napoleon Fte Day it has been supposed that the 
Emperor would hazard a battle for the sake of French sentiment. 
Went to see the old soldier and talk to him about the War. I asked 
him as an old enemy of the French which side he took, French or 
Prussian. He said he knew nothing of the Germans, the French were 
more natural to him and he wished them well. They were very 
kind to him, he said, when he was quartered in the Allied Army at a 
small village near Arras. He helped them to dig their fields, garden, 
cut wood or do anything that was wanted. In return they rewarded 
him by giving him their nice white bread, while the dark hard 
ration went to the pigs. Morgan said there was often a good and 
friendly feeling between English and French soldiers when they 
were in the field. He had often been on picquet duty less than 50 
yards from the French sentries. He would call out, 'Bon soir'. The 
Frenchmen would sing out in return 'Will you boire?' Then they 
would lay down their arms, meet in the middle space and drink 
together. Morgan liked drinking with the French sentries because 
they mostly had something hot. He believes and believed then that if 
they had been caught fraternizing he would have been shot or hung. 


Friday, 19 August 

Ben Lloyd of the Cwm Bryngwyn reeling up the steep fields 
above Jacob's Ladder carrying a horse collar and butter tub. Just 
as I came up the drunken man fell sprawling on his back. He got 
up looking foolish and astonished, and I gave him some good 
advice which he took in good part- at first. I asked if he were 
married. Oh, yes, and had great-grandchildren. A nice example to 
set them, I thought. When I said how his wife would be vexed and 
grieved to see him come rolling home, I found I had touched a 
tender point. He became savage at once, cursed and swore and 
threatened violence. Then he began to roar after me, but he could 
only stagger very slowly so I left him behind reeling and roaring, 
cursing parsons and shouting what he would do if he were younger, 
and that if a man did not get drunk he wasn't a man and of no good 
to himself or the public houses, an argument so exquisite that I left 
it to answer itself. 

On the Little Mountain the gorse that glowed and flamed fiery 
gold down the edge of the hill contrasted sharp and splendid with 
the blue world of mountain and valley which it touched. 

Tuesday, 30 August 

Hay Flower Show, the first they have had, a very successful one. 
A nice large tent, the poles prettily wreathed with hop vine, and 
the flowers fruit and vegetables prettily arranged. There was an 
excursion train from Builth to Hay for the occasion. The town was 
hung with flags. The whole country was there. A row of pretty 
girls, Bevans and Thomases, were sitting on a form which broke 
down and left the whole row sprawling on their backs, with their 
heels in the air. Fanny Thomas was the only one who had any 
presence of mind about ancles. It was quite a case of being 'on view* 
and 'open to the public* and 'no reserve*. Twice round the tent 
was enough and as Trotter of die Bank and I were shaking hands 
with impressive cordiality our enthusiasm was so great that we tore 
off the top of an Osmunaa frond. 

Friday j 2 September 

At 10.45 started across the fields to walk to Capel y Ffin. I came 
in sight of the little Capel y Ffin squatting like a stout grey owl 
among its seven great black yews. I hasteneH on, and in front of 
the Capel House farm there was the sunny haired girl washing at a 


tub as usual by the brook side, the girl with the blue eyes, not the 
blue of the sky, but the blue of the sea. 'Is Father Ignatius here?' I 
asked. * Yes, at least he was here this morning/ I asked a mason at 
work upon die building if Father Ignatius was there. 'There he is with 
his brother/ said the mason. A black robed and cowled monk was 
walking fast along the bottom of the field towards a barn with 
Clavering Lyne. Clavering came up to me, but the monk walked 
quickly on without looking round. Clavering took me to his father 
and mother, who were sitting on a garden seat under a tree in a 
pretty little dingle. They had just arrived unexpectedly from 
Pontrilas having driven up the valley as I came down. It was curious, 
our meeting thus as it were by chance. 

Mr. and Mrs. Lyne came up out of their dingle and Mrs. Lyne 
brought up Father Ignatius and introduced us. He struck me as 
being a man of gentle simple kind manners, excitable, and entirely 
possessed by the one idea. He always spoke to his father and mother 
as 'Papa* and 'Mamma* and called me 'Father*. I could not persuade 
him that my name was not Venables. His head and brow are very 
fine, the forehead beautifully rounded and highly imaginative. The 
face is a very saintly one and the eyes extremely beautiful, earnest 
and expressive, a dark soft brown. When excited they seem 
absolutely to flame. He wears the Greek or early British tonsure 
all round the temples, leaving the hair of the crown untouched. 
His manner gives you the impression of great earnestness and single- 
mindedness. The voice and manner are very like Covering's and 
it was with difficulty that I could tell which of the two was speaking 
if I did not see them. Father Ignatius wore the black Benedictine 
habit with the two loose wings or pieces falling in front and behind, 
two violet tassels behind, the knotted scourge girdle, a silver cross 
on the breast, and a brazen or golden cross hanging from the rosary 
of black beads under the left arm. 

We walked round the place and then climbed the steep bank 
above and looked 'down upon the building. Mrs. Lyne gathered 
some whinberries and gave them to us to eat. They were very nice. 
They grew along the ground on tiny bushes among a very small 
delicately twisted pink heath. We saw the monks and novices below 
issuing from a barn where they had engaged for an hour or so in an 
'exaiairation of conscience*. One of die monks was gazing at us, 
He bad conceived an irrepressible desire to see Mrs. Lyne again. He 


did not wish to intrude upon her approach or address her. He 
simply wanted to see her at a respectful distance and admire her afar 
off. Mr. Lyne said the monk was a man of few and simple wants, 
content with a little and thankful for small mercies. Because the monk 
had said that if he could see Mrs. Lyne he would be perfectly happy.' 

Mrs. Lyne not having much faith in the larder or resources of the 
monastery, especially on a Friday, had wisely taken the precaution 
of bringing with her an honest leg of mutton and two bottles of 
wine. The monasterial garden provided potatoes and French beans, 
very good, and we had luncheon under the tree in the dingle, waited 
on by the novices also cowled and robed in black like the monks. 
They addressed Father Ignatius as 'dear Father* whenever they spoke 
to mm and bent the knee whenever they approached or passed him. 

Whilst we were at luncheon we heard voices close to us proceed- 
ing from the bottom of a deep watercourse or lane, on the other side 
of the hedge. Then a man looked over the hedge and asked his way 
to Capel y Ffin. Father Ignatius had been sitting talking freely and 
at ease with his head uncovered, and his cowl lying back on his 
shoulders. But directly he heard the strange voices and saw the 
strange face peering over the hedge he dashed the cowl over his 
head and face and bolted up the bank among the shrubs like a rabbit. 
I never saw a man so quick on his legs or so sudden in movement. 
He was gone like a flash of lightning. He has been much intruded 
on and persecuted and dreads seeing strangers about the place. Last 
night some men came up from Llanthony Abbey and rung the 
monastery bells violently and were very rude and insolent. However 
he treated them kindly and they apologized for their conduct and 
went away conquered. 

After luncheon we went up to the monastery again and Mr. and 
Mrs. Lyne, Clavering and I each laid a stone in the wall. We had 
to go up a ladder on to the scaffolding and hoarding. Each of us 
'walled* our stone for the benefit of the masons. I kid a stone at 
the particular request of Father Ignatius. The building that the 
masons are at work on now is the west cloister which is to be fitted 
up temporarily for the accommodation of the monks. This work 
was begun in March and ought to have been finished long ago. But 
there was no one to look after the workmen and they did as much 
or as little as they pleased. Father Ignatius thinks every one is as 
good as himself and is perfectly unworldly, innocent and un- 


suspidous. He gave the contractor 500 at first, took no receipt 
from him. And so on. The consequence is that he has been imposed 
upon, cheated and robbed right and left. Father Ignatius took us 
into the Oratory, a tiny square room in the Cloister, fitted with a 
lace and silk-covered altar upon which stands a super altar or 
Tabernacle in which he informed us in a low awestruck voice was 
'the Blessed Sacrament'. There was a couch in the room on which 
he sleeps. The altar lace came from France, and was very expensive. 
There was a crucifix above the altar. It came from Spain and had 
been broken, but it was a beautiful figure. Father Ignatius said that 
once when he was praying Gerald Moultrie who was present saw 
the crucifix roll its eyes, then turn its head and look at Father 
Ignatius. Father Ignatius confessed that neither he nor any of the 
monks had ever seen the crucifix move. He did not know what to 
think about it, but he could not help believing that Moultrie saw 
what he declared he saw. He says that Moultrie is not at all an 
excitable imaginative man. As he was talking about this in a low 
eager whisper, he looked strange and wild and his eyes were starting 
and blazing. He apologized for Mr. Lyne's not kneeling at the altar 
by saying that his father did not believe in the Real Presence. He 
knelt for a moment at the side of the altar. 

Mr. Lyne was anxious to be going as they had ten miles to drive 
down a bad road to Pontrilas. So they got their dog-cart. Clavering 
drove and we parted in the lane. They drove of! and I remained in 
the lane talking to Father Ignatius. I had a good deal of conversation 
with him then and at luncheon time. He told me that Lord Bute 
came up to see him and the monastery a few days ago, and to make 
enquiries. He greatly hopes Lord Bute may help him and send him 
money. The Order of St. Benedict, Father Ignatius says, is now 
worth about 60. The monks are supported entirely by his preach- 
ing. He makes 1000 a year. He gets on much better with the Low 
Church than with the High Church people he says, best of all with 
the Dissenters who consider and call him a second Wesley. He 
allows that a man must be of a very rare and peculiar temperament 
to become and remain a monk. A monk he says must either be a 
philosopher or a 'holy fool'. He also allows that monkery has a 
strong tendency to drive people mad. Out of 50 novices he could 
only reckon on making 3 monks. The rest would probably be 
failures. One in seven was a large percentage. 


One of the novices was a fine noble looking boy, a gentleman's 
son, with a sweet open face and fair clustering curly hair. He had 
been sent to the new monastery by his parents to learn to be a monk. 
The boy seemed to be devoted to Father Ignatius and came running 
up with a basket of mushrooms he had just bought to show them to 
the Father. His cowl was thrown back and his fair young head, 
bright face and sunny hair made a striking contrast with his black 
robe. 'Yes, dear Father. No, dear Father/ And ofFhe went in high 
delight with his mushrooms and the approval of the Father, as 
happy as a king and much happier. Poor child. I wonder if he will 
ever become a monk. I hope he is reserved for a better fate. He 
shook hands with us all before he went off to the barn. His hand 
was as small, soft and white as a girl's. They called him 'Manny'. 
Another of the novices, of lower rank in life, one who waited on 
us at luncheon, had a peculiarly sweet and beautiful face. He is 
called Brother Pkcidus. 

I stood in the lane near the Honddu bridge for some time talking 
with Father Ignatius. I asked him if he would not find an ordinary 
dress more convenient and practical and less open to insult and objec- 
tion. But he scouted the idea of abandoning his distinctive monastic 
dress. He said he had once given it up for a few days, but he felt 
like a deserter and traitor till he took to the habit again. Then he 
again became happy. The Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, he said, 
had suggested the same thing, but he turned the tables on the Bishop 
by asking him why he did not discard his own foolish and meaning- 
less dress, far more irrational than the Benedictine habit, every part 
of which has its meaning. The Bishop laughed and said there was a 
good deal in what Father Ignatius said. He thinks the Bishops are 
coming round to his side. We shook hands and departed. 'Good- 
bye, Father,' he said with an earnest kindly look, 'and thank you for 
your good wish. You must come and see us again when we have 
our guest house ready/ When we had parted a little way and our 
roads had diverged he called out through the half screen of a hazel 
hedge, 'Father! Will you remember us the next time you celebrate 
the Holy Communion?' 'Yes/ I replied, *I will/ 

Saturday, 3 September 

The news was brought from Hereford this afternoon that Mac- 
Mahon's army had been surrounded and had capitulated and that 


the Emperor had surrendered himself in person and given up his 
sword to the King of Prussia. What a tremendous collapse. We 
waited and waited dinner and at last it appeared that we were wait- 
ing for the Lknthomases. Presently they came in, a little before 8. 
They had walked from Llanigon, their waggonette having broken 
down directly they started. I sat next to Mrs. Bridge at dinner and 
we had a very merry time. Coming home at midnight there was a 
pitiful thing. At Wye Cliff gate I overtook a little girl taking her 
tipsy father home. It was dark but I thought I recognized Sarah 
Lewis* plaintive voice. 

Tuesday, 6 September 

We went into the green orchard where beautiful waxen-looking 
August apples ky in the grass, under the heavily loaded trees. 
Williams gave me a pocket full of apples. The postman came in 
with the ktest news, the Evening Standard. Williams tore the paper 
open and we saw the reports of Saturday confirmed and that a 
Republic had been proclaimed in Paris tinder General Trocher. 
Crichton sent me i^ brace of partridges. Really people are very 
kind in sending me game. 

Saturday, 10 September 

We all left Newbridge for Clyro at 12.20. At Llechrhyd I saw 
Mary Bevan on the pktform waiting to get into our train. Mary of 
course got into our carriage. At Three Cocks she took Mr. Venables 
aside and told him that a dreadful calamity had happened. On 
Wednesday morning the turret ship Captain went down at sea with 
500 men. Capt. Cowper Coles who constructed her was on board 
and went down with the rest. Mary Bevan thought Capt. Coles 
was Mr. Venables' brother in kw and very sensibly refrained from 
saying anything of what she had heard or seen in the Western Post 
of this morning until she could speak to Air. Venables alone. He 
waited till they got home to break the news to Mis. V. It is a terrible 
blow to her and ail the family. Poor Mrs. Coles and her 9 children. 
And no one left to tell the tale, or why the ship went down. The 
Times of today confirms the sad news. 

Thursday, 13 September 

Mrs. Venables gave me a letter of Captain Chandos Stanhope to 
read and letters from Lily and Edmund Thomas with others from 
Southsea, all about the loss of the Captain. We have the gunner's 


account now. He says the ship turned suddenly bottom upwards 
jn a squall and then went down so. He and some other men 
scrambled upon her hull and for a minute or two actually stood upon 
her bottom. What a sight. What a moment. And what a terrible 
[ ] for the 500 men entangled and surprised below deck. 

She was top heavy, had too much 'top hamper* and too low a 
free board, so that when she heeled over in the squall she had no 
high broadside to oppose to and press against the water, and so she 
turned upside down at once. 

Wednesday* 14 September 

I dined at the Vicarage. Poor Mis. Venabies terribly distressed by 
Capt. Coles' death in the disaster of the Captain. She utterly broke 
down at dinner time and cried quietly and bitterly. I never saw her 
cry before. 

Thursday, 15 September 

Hay Fair. Roads lively with men, horses and sheep. We were 
busy all day dressing the Church or preparing decorations. Mrs. 
Price and Miss Elcox had got a quantity of wild hops from their 
fields and were ai ranging bright red apples for ornament. Also they 
had boughs loaded with rosy apples and quantities of bright yellow 
Siberian crabs. At the school the children were busy leasing out 
corn from a loose heap on the floor, sitting among the straw and 
tying up wheat, barley and oats in small sheaves and bundles. Gipsy 
Lizzie was amongst them, up to her beautiful eyes in corn and straw. 
The schoolmaster, the boys and I gathering stringed ivy from the 
trees in the Castle Clump. The Miss Baskervilles dressing the hoops 
for the seven window sills with flowers and fruit. Mrs, Morrell 
undertook to dress the reading desk, pulpit, and clerk's desk, and did 
them beautifully. Then Cooper came down with his men carrying 
magnificent ferns and plants and began to work in the chancel. One 
fine silver fern was put in the font. Gibbins undertook the font and 
dressed it very tastefully with moss and white asters under the sweep- 
ing fronds of the silver fern. Round the stem were twined the 
delicate light green' sprays of white convolvulus. The pillars were 
wreathed and twined with wild hop vine falling in graceful careless 
festoons and curling tendrils from wreath and capital. St. Andrew 
crossed sheaves of all sorts of corn were placed against the walls 
between tie windows, wheat, barley and oats with a spray of hop 


vine drooping in a festoon across the sheaf butts and a spray of red 
barberries between the sheaf heads. Bright flowers in pots clustered 
round the spring of the arches upon the capitals of the pillars, the 
flower pots veiled by a twist of hop vine. Mrs. Partridge returned 
from Worcestershire this afternoon and brought and sent us two 
magnificent branches of real hops from the Worcestershire hop 
yards. These we hung drooping full length on either side of a text 
Mrs. V. had made, white letters on scarlet flannel, *I am the Vine. 
Ye are die branches. Without Me ye can do nothing.' And from 
the corners of this text Cooper hung two bunches of purple grapes. 
Two texts in corn on green baize. 'Praise ye the Lord' in wheat 
ears, and 'Thanks be to God* in oats were placed over the doors, 
inside. Outside the great door branches of apples and pears hung 
over the door. The gates were dressed with ferns, fruit and flowers. 
Following the outer arch, within a border of Spanish chestnuts, oak 
and acorn, elderberries, barberries and apples, was Mr. Evans' text 
in scarlet letters on a bright blue ground, 'Enter into His Gates with 
Thanksgiving'. An avenue of tall ferns and coleus led up the chancel. 
A row of the same plants stood along the altar steps, and dahlias 
were laid on brae fern along the altar rail bars. On either side of the 
entrance to the altar hung a splendid cluster of purple grapes, and 
along the rails were tied at intervals small sheaves of wheat and tall 
heads of Pampas grass. On the altar stood two sheaves of all corn 
with a paten between them worked in scarlet flannel bordered with 
corn and IHS worked in wheat ears. Above this hung a cross 
covered with scarlet flannel and adorned with coin barberries. On 
the window sill above stood a larger sheaf of all corn in a moss field 
and upon the moss lay all fruit, plums, apples, pears. 

Tuesday, 20 September 

The sky a cloudless deep wonderful blue, and the mountains so 
light blue as to be almost white. The slight mist of an early autumn 
afternoon hanging over the gorgeous landscape. This morning there 
was a heavy dense white mist, which hung till noon, a real old 
fashioned September fog. 

Went up the orchard bank in preference to Jacob's Ladder, but 
found the spiked gate at the top locked and had to climb over it. 
Just below on the orchard bank grew an apple tree whose bright 
red boughs and shoots stood up in beautiful contrast against the 


light blue mountains and grey town and the blue valley. And the 
grey tower of Clyro Church peeped through the bright red branches. 
A sack half filled with apples stood tinder a tree but no one was 
about. A woodpecker was tapping loud some way down Jacob's 
Ladder. Partridge shooting on all round. 

From the stile on the top of the hill above the plantation watched 
the sun set in a crimson ball behind the hills or rather into a dense 
ball of dark blue vapour. It was like seeing a sunset over the sea. 
He went down very fast. All the country round was full of evening 
sounds, children's voices, dogs barking, the clangour of geese. 
Meanwhile the sheep fed quietly round me. Then came the after- 
glow round the S. and E. Scarlet feathers floated in the sky, and the 
gorse deepened into a richer redder gold in the sunset light. 

Wednesday, 21 September 

Another dense white fog which cleared off to cloudless blue and 
brilliant sunshine at n. As I sat with my windows open at noon 
writing, the rustle of the glossy bright poplar leaves filled the room 
as the leaves twinkled and shimmered up the green poplar spire 
into the blue. 

Went to the Bronith. People at work in the orchard gathering 
up the windfall apples for early cider. The smell of the apples very 
strong. Beyond the orchards the lone aspen was rustling loud and 
mournfully a lament for the departure of summer. Called on the 
old soldier. He was with his wife in the garden digging and gather- 
ing red potatoes which turned up very large and sound, no disease, 
and no second growth, an unusual thing this year. The great round 
red potatoes lay thick, fresh and clean on the dark newly turned 
mould. I sat down on the stones by the spring and the old soldier 
came and sat down on the stones by me while his wife went on pick- 
ing up the red potatoes. We talked about the war and the loss of 
the Captain. Mary Morgan brought me some apples, Sam's Crabs 
and Quinin's. The spring trickled and tinkled behind us and a boy 
from the keepei's cottage came to draw water in a blue and 
white jug. 

It was very quiet and peaceful in the old soldier's garden as we 
sat by the spring while the sun grew low and gilded the apples in 
the trees which he had planted, and the keeper's wife moved about 
in the garden below, and we heard the distant shots at partridges. 

7 8 KILVERT'S DIARY [O rt . 

I dug up the half row of potatoes for him which he had left 

Monday, 26 September 

Magistrates' meeting at noon. Two Clyro cases. An unsuccessful 
attempt by Samuel Evans' daughter and wife of the Bird's Nest to 
father the daughter's hase child upon Edward Morgan of Cwm- 
pelved Green. It came out that Mrs. Evans had been shameless 
enough to let the young man sit up at night with Emily after she 
and her husband had gone to bed. Mrs. V. most properly repri- 
manded her publicly and turned her out of the Club. Such conduct 
ought to be strongly marked and disapproved. The other case was 
the Crowther's Pool fighting case which was burked and settled 
out of court. 

Wednesday, 28 September, Michaelmas Eve 

I went out for a walk with Mr. G. Venables over the Doldowlod 
suspension bridge across the Wye and up the Llandrindod road. 

We fell into conversation about Wordsworth and the following 
are some of Mi. George Venables' recollections of him. 

'I was staying at Ambleside with some people who knew Words- 
worth and was introduced to him theie. Then I went over to tea 
at his house, Rydal Mount. Wordsworth's sister Dorothy was in 
the room, an old woman at that time. She was depressed and took 
no part in the conversation and no notice of what was passing. Her 
brother told me he attributed the failure of her health and intellect to 
the long walks she used to take with him, e.g. from Llyswen to 

*He said he met "Peter Bell" on the road between Builth and 

*One evening riding near Rydal I saw Wordsworth sauntering 
towards me wearing a shade over his eyes, which were weak, and 
crooning our aloud some lines of a poem which he was composing. 
I stopped to avoid splashing him and apologized for having 
intruded upom him. He said, "I am glad I met you for I 
want to consult you about some lines I am composing in which 
I want to make the shadow of Etna fall across Syracuse, the moun- 
tain being 40 miles from the city. Would this be possible?" I replied 
that there was nothing in the distance to prevent the shadow of 
the mountain falling across the city. The only difficulty was that 


Etna is exactly North of Syracuse. "Surely", said Wordsworth, "it 
is a little N.E. or N.W." And as he was evidently determined to 
make the shadow fall the way he wanted it I did not contradict him. 
Wordsworth was a very remarkable looking man. He looked like 
an old shepherd, with rough rugged weather beaten face, but his 
features were fine and high cut. He was a grand man. He had a 
perfectly independent mind and cared for no one else's opinion. I 
called upon him afterwards at the Stow, Whitney. He was very 
kind to me there. He used to say that the Wye above Hay was the 
finest piece of scenery in South Britain, i.e. everything south of 

Friday, October Eve 

Reading before luncheon. Read that clever amusing book A 
Week in a French Country House. What an elegant ease and sim- 
plicity there is about French manners and ways of domestic country 
life, and how favourably it contrasts with our social life, cumbrous, 
stiff, vulgarly extravagant, artificial, unnatural. 

Sunday, October Morrow 

A heavy cold white mist, very raw and chilly. The poplars 
rusded loud in the mist with a sound like heavy rain. While we 
were in Church the fog cleared away and the afternoon was glorious 
sunshine and unclouded blue. Holy Communion. At the Vicarage 
I saw one of the first 'Post Cards' that have been sent. It was from 
Lilian to Mrs. Venables, very bright and cheery. 

Monday, 3 October 

How odd, all the news and letters we get from Paris now coming 
by balloons and carrier pigeons. 
Tuesday, 4 October 

Today I sent my first post cards, to my Mother, Thersie, Emmie 
and Perch. They are capital things, simple, useful and handy. A 
happy invention. 

Dinner at Clifford Priory. A fair haired pretty German girl 
dressed in blue staying in the house showed us some beautiful draw- 
ings and illuminated texts, and at her request I became a subscriber 
for a six shilling set, of which she has ordered 1000 copies to be 

The subject of Germany was started and we were talking about 
Baden, Strasburg, Heidelberg. 'Ah,' said Miss Schlienz to me, *it is 


easy to see which way your sympathies lie/ She had (I learnt after- 
wards) been made painfully aware that other people's sympathies 
did not all lie the same way, for one afternoon when driving through 
Hay with Mrs. Allen, she met Captain Thomas and Captain Bridge, 
both strong French partisans. The two Captains naturally turned 
the talk upon the War and not knowing Miss Schlienz's nationality 
they both expressed their opinions freely. 'And now,' said Captain 
T., 'there is one of those beastly German Dukes shot.' 'I don't know 
if you are aware,' said Katie Allen leaning grimly down from the 
box, 1 don't know if you are aware that there is a German lady 
in the carriage.' The Captains routed horse and foot, bowed and 
fled, one up, the other down street. 

Wednesday, 5 October 

A dark foggy afternoon. At the Bronith near the Cottage a 
yellow poplar spire stood out bright against the dark woods above. 
At die Bronith spring a woman crippled with rheumatism and 
crying with the pain, had filled her tin pail and was trying to crawl 
home with it. So I carried the pail to her house. 

Saturday, 8 October 

Heavy rain in the night and in the morning the mists had all wept 
themselves away. In the night the wind had gone round from the 
cursed East into the blessed West. All evil things have always come 
from the East, the plague, cholera, and man. 

Monday, 10 October 

All the evening a crowd of excited people swarming about the 
Swan door and steps, laughing, talking loud, swearing and quarrel- 
ling in the quiet moonlight. 

Here come a fresh drove of men from the fair, half tipsy, at the 
quarrelsome stage judging by the noise they make, all talking at 
once loud fast and angry, humming and buzzing like a swarm of 
angry bees. Their blood is on fire. It is like a gunpowder magazine. 
There will be an explosion in a minute. It only wants one word, a 
sparL Here it is. Some one had said something. A sudden blaze 
of passion, a. retort, a word and a blow, a rush, a scuffle, a Babel of 
voices, a tumult, the furious voices of the combatants rising high 
and furious above the din. Now the bystanders have come between 
them, are holding them back, soothing them, explaining that no 
insult was intended at first, and persuading them not to fight. Then 


a quick tramp of horsehoofs and a farmer dashes past on his way 
home from the fair. Twenty voices shout to him to stop. He pulls 
up with difficulty and joins the throng. Meanwhile the swarm and 
bustle and hum goes on, some singing, some shouting, some quarrel- 
ling and wrangling, the World and the Flesh reeling about arm in 
arm and Apollyon straddling the whole breadth of the way. To- 
night I think many are sore, angry and desperate about their mis- 
fortunes and prospects. Nothing has sold today but fat cattle. No 
one would look at poor ones, because no one has keep for them 
during the winter. Every one wants to sell poor cattle to pay their 
rent and to get so many mouths off their hay. No one wants to buy 
them. Where are the rents to come from? 

Tuesday, n October 

Visited Edward Evans in the dark hole in the hovel roof which 
does duty foi a bedroom, and a gaunt black and white ghostly cat 
was stalking about looking as if she were only waiting for the sick 
man to die, that she might begin upon him. 

Thursday, 13 October 

On leaving the School I went in to the Vicarage. I met Webb 
at the stable yard gate and he took me in and showed me how he 
was getting on. In the evening and night he and his men had opened 
the cesspool close to the drawing room wall, emptied it, and shot the 
contents into a deep pit in the garden. Late yesterday evening 
Richard Williams sent his little boy Johnny into the Vicarage garden 
to pick up the pears which were falling in the high wind. Some pears 
had fallen into the pit half full of night soil and lime which was all 
in a soft slabby state. The boy, not knowing what Webb and his 
men were doing or what was in the pit, jumped into it to pick up 
the pears which he saw lying on the lime. Immediately he began to 
sink and unable to extricate himself was getting deeper and deeper 
by his struggles. He was too much frightened or too stupid to cry 
out and in a few minutes he would have been smothered in the 
horrible mess, if rain had not come on heavily and driven Webb 
into the garden to fetch his mackintosh when he found the boy 
lying on his side half immerged, floundering and struggling deeper 
and deeper in the slush just like a fly in a basin of treacle. He was 
struggling silently and holding fast to three pears. With great 
trouble Webb standing on the brink leaned over to him, got hold of 


his hand, pulled him out, and sent him down to the brook to wash 
himself and change his clothes at home afterwards. 

Friday, 14 October 

Visited Edward Evans and the stench of the hovel bedroom almost 
insupportable. -The gaunt ghastly half starved bkck and white cat 
was still sitting on a box at the bed head waiting for the sick man 
to die. 

It is an old custom in these parts for the poor people to go about 
round the farm-houses to beg and gather milk between and about 
the two Michaelmasses, that they may be able to make some pud- 
dings and pancakes against Bryngwyn and Clyro Feasts, which are 
on the same day, next Sunday, the Sunday after old Michaelmas Day 
or Hay Fail, October loth. The old custom is still kept up in 
Bryngwyn and at some hill farms in Clyro, but it is honoured at 
comparatively few houses now, and scarcely anywhere in Clyro 
Vale. Wern Vawr is one of the best houses to go to, a hospitable 
old-fashioned house where they keep up the old customs. Besides 
being given a gallon of milk to be carried away, the poor people are 
fed and refreshed to help them on their journey to the next farm, for 
they wander many miles for milk and it is a weary tramp before 
they reach home. 

I turned in to old Hannah's and sat with her an hour talking over 
old times, and listening to her reminiscences and tales of the dear 
old times, the simple kindly primitive times *in the Bryngwyn' 
nearly ninety years ago. She remembers how, when she was a very 
little girl, she lived with her grandfather and grandmother, old 
Walter Whitney (who Was about ninety) and his wife. In the 
winter evenings, some of their old neighbours, friends of her grand- 
father, used to come in for a chat, especially old Prothero, William 
Price and William Greenway, contemporaries of her grandfather, 
and all men bom about the beginning of the i8th or the end of the 
17th century. These old people would sit round the fire talking on 
the long winter evenings, and Hannah then a child of 8 or 10 would 
sit on a little stool by her grandfather's chair in the chimney corner 
listening while they told their old world stories and tales of 'the 
fairies' in whom they fully believed. There was the 'Wild Duck 
Pool* above Newbuilding. To this pool the people used to come 
on Easter morning to see the sun dance and play in the water and 

- l870 ] WOLVES IN SPAIN 83 

the angels who were at the Resurrection playing backwards and 
forwards before the sun. There was also the 'sheep cot pool* below 
Wernwg, where Hob with his lantern was to be seen, only Hannah 
never saw him. But when people were going to market on Thurs- 
day mornings they would exhort one another to come back in good 
time lest they should be led astray by the Goblin Lantern, and boys 
would wear their hats the wrong way lest they should be enticed 
into the fairy rings and made to dance. Then the story of the girl 
of Llan Pica who was led astray by the fairies and at last killed by 
them, and the story of the old man who slept in the rm'11 trough at 
the Rhos Goch Mill and used to hear the fairies come in at night 
and dance to sweet fiddles on the mill floor. Hannah living in 
'the Bryngwyn* wore a tall Welsh hat till she was grown up. 

Safiirday, 15 October 

I found the old soldier sitting by his black fireplace and the door 
open, but soon a spark of fire showed and the flame leapt up, and 
soon we had a glowing fire. We talked about the War and he 
amused me by telling me his remembrances of the wolves in Spain, 
how they were very large and fierce, much larger than any dog he 
had seen. 'We frightened them/ he said, 'by making a flash of 
powder in the pan of our muskets. When the wolves saw it they 
went away. They did not like to see that.* It is nothing to write, 
but the old man said it so quaintly as if the wolves disappioved of 
the proceeding and did not wish to countenance it, so they walked 

Tuesday, 18 October 

Old James Jones was breaking stones below Pentwyn. He told 
me how he had once cured his deafness for a time by pouring hot 
eel oil into his ear, and again by sticking into his ear an 'elleni* 
(elder) twig, and wearing it there night and day. The effect of the 
eel oil at first was, he said, to make his head and brains feel full of 
crawling creatures. 

A wild rainy night. They are holding Clyro Feast Ball at the 
Swan opposite. As I write I hear the scraping and squealing of the 
fiddle and the ceaseless heavy tramp of the dancers as they stamp the 
floor in a country dance. An occasional blast of wind or rush of rain 
shakes my window. Toby 1 sits before the fire on the hearthrug and 
1 The diarist's cat. 


now and then jumps up on my knee to be stroked. The mice scurrv 
rattling round the wainscot and Toby darts off in great excitement 
to listen and watch for them. 

Wednesday, 19 October 

Mrs. Chaloner told me this morning that when the Harrises, now 
living at the Wine Vaults at Hay, kept the Baskerville Arms, at one 
of the Clyro Feast Balls the Whitcombs of the Bronith got in. A 
fight followed, the house was in an uproar, the company were fight- 
ing all night instead of dancing, and in the morning all the respect- 
able people had black eyes. At that time the inn was very badly 
conducted, people sat up drinking all night and fought it out in the 
morning in the road before the inn. Frequently they were to be seen at 
1 1 o'clock in the morning stripped and fighting up and down the road, 
often having drunk and vomited and wallowed in the inn all night. 

Went in to see Richard Meredith the Land Surveyor and sat 
talking to him for some time. He said the old folks used to rise 
very early, never later than five even in winter, and then the women 
would get to their spinning or knitting. His grandmother was 
always at her spinning, knitting or woolcarding by 6 o'clock in the 
morning. It was fashionable to breakfast just before daylight in 
winter and 9 o'clock at night was a very late hour for going to bed. 
When people rose very early it was a saying that they were 'beating 
for day', because it was supposed that they went out and knocked 
on the earth for day to come. 

Saturday, 22 October 

I went up the common to White Ash, the air blowing fresh and 
fragrant on the open hill side green. Read to Sarah Probert, the 
story of the Raising of Lazarus. Hannah came in and sat by the fire 
listening with grunts of assent between the whiffs of her short pipe. 
She said she had been 'tugging and tearing firewood up the old 
dingle*. A squirrel's skin hung over the hearth. The cat killed the 
squirrel and several others a month ago. 'I couldna think/ said' 
Hannah, 'what she was a-tushing down the fold/ Hannah had 
preserved for me some Columbine seeds and some seed of the blue 
flower Scabious called 'Kiss at the garden gate'. 
Tuesday, 25 October 

At MaesUwch Castle last week four guns killed seven hundred 
rabbits in one afternoon. 

lS70 j WHITTY'S MILL 85 

Wednesday, 26 October 

Carrie Gore let me in to the Mill kitchen through the meal room 
and loft over the machinery, and there was Mrs. Gore making up 
the bread into loaves and putting them into the oven. Good- 
natured nice Carrie, with her brown hair arranged in a bush round 
her jolly broad open frank face, and her fine lusty arms bare, enter- 
tained me by playing on the jingling old harpsichord, sitting very 
stiff and straight and upright to the work with her chair drawn in as 
near as possible to the key-board so that she was obliged to lean a 
little back quite stifF. She played some hymn tunes correctly, but 
what I admired most was her good nature, good breeding and per- 
fect manners in sitting down to pky directly she was asked without 
any false shame or false modesty, without shilly-shallyirig or holding 
back that she might be asked again, but just sitting straight down, 
doing what she was asked and doing her best at once without any 
nonsense, in a good-tempered cheerful way that many young ladies 
might copy with advantage. She is as nice and good a girl as you 
will meet in a day's march. 

A pretty little girl sat in an armchair by the fire reading. Mrs. 
Gore had made her some apple hop-abouts, but forgot to put them 
in the oven tih 1 1 reminded her of them. Mrs. Gore wanted me to 
have some gin and when I declined offered me tea as an alternative. 
I accepted the tea. While they were getting it ready Mary came 
back from a long round among the hills on horseback, collecting 
bills and money for her father. The Gores of Whitty's Mill are 
very well-oif, make at least ^200 a year, the schoolmistress says, 
and have a matter of ^300 in the bank. Carrie had gone upstairs, 
and I heard Mrs. Gore calling in a loud voice, 'Came dear, there's 
Mary come back, go to the door and take the mare off her*. I rose 
and looked through the window into the yard below. Carrie was 
leading a bay mare to the stable and a pretty girl who had just dis- 
mounted, the Miller's daughter, was coming towards the house with 
her riding whip in her hand, dressed in a dark riding habit which she 
was holding up as she walked, and a black jaunty pretty hat with a 
black feather sat upon her flowing fair hair. It was a pretty picture. 
She came into the kitchen straight, with the manners, bearing and 
address of a lady, shook hands and welcomed me cordially. "Well, 
Miss Mary, you've had a cold stormy ride.' Her little hand was cold 
with riding. She began to tell me where she had been, then went 


upstairs, took off her riding habit, and came down in a pretty maize 
print dress, and sitting in an armchair by the fireside went on with 
the account of her ride. The dog and cat fawned on her and jumped 
into her lap. Everybody and everything seemed glad when 'Mary' 
came home. She appeared to be the strong gentle ruling spirit of 
the house. Oh the dear old Mill kitchen, the low, large room so 
snug, so irregular and full of odd holes and corners, so cosy and 
comfy with its low ceiling, horse-hair couch, easy chair by the fire, 
flowers in the Window recess, the door opening into the best room 
or parlour. Oh these kindly hospitable houses about these hospitable 
hills. I believe I might wander about these hills all my life and never 
want a kindly welcome, a meal, or a seat by the fireside. And the 
kindness and earnest gratitude one meets with when one calls at the 
houses is quite touching. Mary brought me a small round table to 
my side of the fire. Mrs. Gore herself brought rne tea and bread 
and butter and preserves. So we sat round the hearth and talked 
about the War. And when I rose to go, 'Goodbye, Sir,' said the 
Miller's daughter, with a warm hearty clasp of the hand. I'm very 
glad to see you here.' Blessings on the dear old Mill, and the brook 
that turns the wheel, and on the hospitable kitchen and the roofrree 
of the Gores, and blessings on that fair brave honest girl, the Miller's 
daughter of Whitty's Mill. 

Friday, 28 October 

Hot coppers, too much wine last night and an ill temper this 
morning. Reading Puck by 'Ouida', a book Morrell lent me. The 
authoress seems to have a rabid hatred of women and parsons. 

Saturday, 29 October 

Reading Puck. Last night we heard that Metz has fallen and that 
four Marshals of France and 150,000 men have surrendered as 
prisoners of war. 

Today I found in a book a red silk handkerchief worked with the 
words 'Forget me not', and I am sorry to say that I have entirely 
forgotten who gave it to me. One of my many lovers no doubt. 
But which 5 

Tuesday, 15 November 
Letters from my Father and Mother enclosing a nice letter from 


Augustus Hare, 1 describing to my Father his 'Mother's' 2 illness. He 
gives the following affectionate words to his reminiscences of dear 
old Hamish and Harnish days. Speaking of Aunt Mary, he says, 'I 
remember Mrs. Matthews so wefl and going to tea there, for con- 
solation, the first day I was left with you. It all seems very long ago, 
but so vivid still, the garden with its laurel hedges and the large elm 
tree, the -dusty hot little courtyard, the romantic adventures of 
climbing down by stealth into the vault under the church, persuad- 
ing Mary the cook to give us little hot cakes of bread out of the 
window when she was baking. Asking the French master with 
Walter Arnold, "Who won the battle of Waterloo?" and being well 
punished for it too, the odious Gumbleton who always pinched and 
pricked me under the tablecloth, the eccentric Proby, the affectionate 
tittle Henry, the nice Percival, Deacon Coles (who always seemed 
more than grown up when he was 12 years old) and all his maiden 
aunts, the delights of Kellaways, our "museum" of bits of tobacco 
pipe picked up in the roads, the dressings-up on the 5th of Novem- 
ber, the geography book which taught us about Crema and 
Cremona (such extraordinarily obscure places!) and, oh, a hundred 
thousand other things.' 

Wednesday ; 16 November 

Last night the waning moon shone bright and cold in the East 
and I had a horrible dream that I was married to Mrs. Danzey and 
living as curate at Gwythian. I woke up in a cold sweat. This morn- 
ing I learnt from Mrs. Venables of the death of Mrs. Augustus Hare, 
She heard of it from Miss Higginson. Mrs. Augustus Hare was one 
of Lady Frances Higginson's oldest friends. My Father I know will 
feel her death, and poor Augustus, what will he do without her? 
She has been his object in life. It was a very beautiful attachment on 
both sides. Augustus has written a book in 2 Vok called Walks in 
Rome. Miss Higginson sent a notice of it to Clyro. They want Mr. 
G. Venables to review it in 'the Saturday'. 

Thursday, 17 November 

The trees blazed with the -diamonds of the melting hoar frost. 
The wet village roads shone like silver below, and the market folk 

1 Augustus Hare (1834-1903), author of Tlie Story of My Ufa &c. t had been a pupil 
at Hardenhuish Rectory of the diarist's father. 
1 The lady was Hare's adoptive mother. 


thronged past die Vicarage and School. A railway engine shot up a 
bright white jet of steam over the bank from Hay Station, the oaks 
were still tawny green and glittering with diamond dews, Hay 
Church in a tender haze beyond the gleaming of the broad river 
reach and rapids above the Steeple pool. How indescribable, that 
lovely brilliant variegated scene. A rook shot up out of the valley 
and towered above the silver mist into the bright blue sky over the 
golden oaks, rising against the dark blue mountains still patched 
and ribbed with snow. 

Friday, iB November 

Went into the Tump to see young Meredith who has had his 
jaw locked for six months, a legacy of mumps. He has been to 
Hereford Infirmary where they kept him two months, gave him 
chloroform and wrenched his jaws open gradually by a screw lever. 
But they could not do him any good. 

Next to the Pant, where Mrs. Powell was entertaining a sister-in- 
law from Huntington at tea. We were talking about parishes and 
boundaries. Tm sitting in Brilley (England and Herefordshire) 
now,' said I, feeling for the boundary notch in the chimney. It's 
further this way/ she said. *I suppose/ she said, 'diere have been 
some curious disputes about the boundary running through this 
house/ 'Very odd indeed/ I said, remembering the extraordinary 
story which old Betty Williams of Crowther used to tell me about 
the birth of a child in this house (the Pant) and the care taken that 
the child should be born in England in the English corner of the 
cottage. 'Stand here, Betsey, in this corner/ said the midwife. And 
the girl was delivered of the child standing. 

At Cae Noyadd in its black yews and hedges covered white with 
drying linen Mrs. Harley was washing, the floor was littered with 
dry fern, and a big girl had of course 'cracked a commandment*, 
run away from her place ('started', as they call it) and come home 
in this fashion, i.e. in the family way. The usual old story. 

Sunday, 20 November 

I went back with Mrs. Venables to the Vicarage to tea and we had 
a long confidential talk between the lights and far into the dark, 
sitting by the drawing room fire, talking about the prevailing 
scepticism of the day. I said if I had children I should teach them to 
believe all the dear old Bible stories. She said she hoped to see me 


some day -with a number of children about me, my own children. 
Never, I said, adding I did not believe that I should ever marry. 
Then came out by degrees my attachment to C. She was very much 
surprised when she guessed the right name after trying Mary Bevan, 
Fanny Higginson, Flora Ross, Lily Thomas. 'She'll never marry/ 
she said gravely. 'I know it,' I said. 

Wednesday, 23 November 

I dined at the Vicarage with Lord and Lady Hereford who came 
today and stay till Saturday for the shooting at Clyro Court. 

Thursday, 24 November 

A wild rainy night and the rain poured all day so that the Clyro 
Court party could not shoot and played battledore and shuttlecock 
in the hall, gentlemen and ladies. 

Monday, 28 November 

A plaintive mew outside the door. I open the door and tabby 
Toby comes trotting in with his funny little note of affection. 

Walked up the Cwm and found old James Jones stonebreaking. 
He told me now he was once travelling from Hereford to Hay by 
coach when the coach was wrecked in a flood by Bredwardine 
Bridge because the coachman would not take the bearing reins of 
the horses off. The bearing reins kept the horses' noses down tinder 
water, they plunged and reared and got the coach off the road and 
swimming Hke a boat, and an old lady inside screaming horribly. 
'Don't keep such a noise, Ma'am/ said old Jones, throwing himself 
off the roof into a hedge-row against which the coach was swept by 
the fierce current. 'We won't leave you before we get you out 
somehow/ He was followed by most of the passengers on the roof, 
though one very tall man fell into the water on his face all along 
like a log, and waded through the flood out on to the Bredwardine 
side. One outside passenger was a miller of the neighbourhood who 
had a boat on the river. This was sent for and the old lady pacified 
and pulled into it through the coach window. The coachman was 
prayed and entreated to loose the bearing reins, but refused to do it. 
Two horses were drowned, one wheeler went down under the pole. 
The other, a leader, broke loose and plunged and pawed and reared 
at the bridge out of the flood till he was exhausted, and then fell over 
backwards into the stream and was rolled away by the current. 


Tuesday, 29 November 

A letter from my mother enclosing one from Perch. She tells me 
that Maria Kilvert of Worcester died last week after a few days' 
illness. Mr. Hooper, her Worcester lawyer, wrote to ask my Father 
to come immediately. He and my Mother went to Worcester 
yesterday. My Father said on reading Mr. Hooper's letter that he 
thought she had probably left all the bulk of her property to the 
Cathedral. Curiously enough my Mother opened immediately 
afterwards Perch's letter which she forwarded to me, and he says, 
'I see in the Illustrated London News that Miss Kilvert of Worcester 
had just given 300 to the clock and bells of the Cathedral'. Perch 
gives a good account of his own position in the Inland Revenue 
which he considers now to be safe and he thinks he will shortly have 
an increase of salary. 

Wednesday, December Eve 

A letter from my Mother from College Green, Worcester - 
Maria Kilvert *s house, where they are staying. When my Father and 
Mother arrived, the servants were crusty and evidently did not 
intend them to stay there, saying there was no spare bed and nothing 
to eat in the house. Mr. Hooper, the acting executor, was out of 
town, so not liking to take any step without his sanction they went 
to the Star for the night, until they could see him. Next morning 
he told them, 'Certainly, they had a perfect right to go to the house, 
and stay there'. So armed with his authority they went to College 
Green and took up their quarters there. My Mother sent a rough 
sketch of the will which Mr. Hooper read over hastily to them, 
15,000 left to charities, Clergy widows and orphans, Home 
Missions and SJP.G., by a right but by no moral right and a most 
unprincipled unnatural act and piece of ostentation and a most 
emmeous injustice. Still more monstrous, 600 had been left by 
the will to Lord Lyttelton and his son. Happily this had been 
revoked by codicil. Het beautiful prints she left to the Bishop of 
Worcester and the magnificent volumes of engravings were left to 
the executors. To my Father she left her rose trees and to my Mother 
her futs and lace, which my Mother thinks may be worth a few 
shillings. There are many legacies to old servants etc., some of 
them heavy ones. After the sale of the house everything in it, 
including the fine old plate with the family arms engraved upon it, 


is to be sold, and after all legacies, debts and" expenses have been 
paid what remains of the property, which will probably be a mere 
trifle, is to be equally divided between my Father, Aunt Marianne 
and the Motherwells. A most iniquitous will, not a shilling was left 
to any of the Francis Kilverts, the old grudge and malice against 
Uncle Francis for writing Bishop Hurd's life ruling strong in death. 
My Mother has. been very busy making inventories and lists for 
Mr. Hooper as a check on the servants, as everything was left to 
their mercy. The funeral is to be on Friday after Cathedral morning 
service. The funeral service is to be choral. The six pall bearers to 
be the Canons. My Father and Mother the only mourners. I 
decided to go over tomorrow and stay over the night and see the 
funeral and Worcester, and wrote to offer to attend the funeral. 

Thursday, December Day 

[The diarist arrives at Worcester and a girl, of whom he has asked his way, offers to 
guide him.] 

We passed along an irregular quadrangle formed by the N. side 
of the Cathedral on one hand and houses on the other sides. A 
carriage drive swept round an iron-railed grass enclosure within 
which were some ancient elms with almost all their limbs lopped 
or broken off. This was the Cathedral Close or College Green. 
Most of the houses were red brick, some stuccoed white, all irregular 
and unlike each other. *There/ said the girl with the baby, 'that is 
Miss Kilvert's house, the last house, red brick with white blinds 
down.' It was a curious looking house in an inner recess of the Close, 
red brick, white window frames, a conical roof with tiles, and a 
small front. In the middle of this inner recess was a smaller open 
grass plot. The Close may be pretty in summer but it looked bare 
and dreary in December. The Cathedral Tower close by, just 
restored by Lord Dudley, is a grand rich object. The first impression 
the Cathedral exterior gave me was one of plainness, bareness, 
newness, produced by- the new grey sandstone with which it has 
been cased, not yet weather-fretted or lichen-grown. 

The maid-servant announced me at the library door where my 
Father and Mother were sitting, as 'a visitor for Mrs. Kilvert*. My 
Mother, who was writing at a table between the two windows, rose 
and took off her spectacles, expecting to see a stranger, as I had 
written that I was coming by a later train. Dinner had just gone out 


but a charwoman brought me in a tray of luncheon. The three 
servants are too grand to wait upon us so they employ a charwoman 
Then my mother related all their adventures. I had a particular wish 
to see Miss Kilvert though I usually loathe and abhor the sight of a 
corpse, so Charlotte Haynes, the ladies' maid, was summoned and 
she gladly conducted us upstairs into the bedroom and drew up the 
blinds. It was a small room very plainly furnished, but some 
exquisite engravings hung on the walls. The bed stood in the middle 
of the room and the room was full of chloride of lime. It was a four 
post curtained bed, covered with a white sheet. Charlotte drew 
back the sheet. The dead woman 80 years old lay in her coffin, a 
lead coffin fitted into an outer one of dark oak and lined with white 
satin. The coffin lid with its brass breastplate leaned upright in a 
corner of the room. The face that lay still, frozen down into silence, 
in the coffin was a very remarkable one. It was a distinguished face 
with aristocratic features. A firm mouth, fine highly formed nose 
delicately and sharply cut. There was a slight frown and a con- 
traction of the brows. It was the face of a person of considerable 
ability, stern, severe, and perhaps a little contemptuous, an expression 
which with the contraction of the brows was so habitual that death 
had smoothed neither away. It did not look like the face of a woman 
of fourscore. The 'likeness to some one of the race' had 'come out 5 . 
There was a strong family resemblance to my Father, and there was 
a look which brought back a vague fleeting dim recollection which 
I could not catch or define. It was the least repulsive dead face I have 
seen. My Father went downstairs to bring my Mother up, as she 
had at first declined accompanying us to the bedroom. I think we 
were all glad that we had visited the room and seen the noble face 
of the dead uncovered. She must have been very handsome in her 
youth. My Father says she was more than this, 'she was bewitch- 
ing'. She seems to have been a singularly clever accomplished person 
of refined and elegant tastes. She played and sang exquisitely and 
one of the canons compared her to Jenny Lind. The drawing room 
upstairs was hung round with beautiful proof prints, some of the 
most exquisite engravings I ever saw, so soft and clear. There also 
lay on a side table the noble volumes of engravings of the ancient 
Mansions of England. These were brought down by a servant for 
us to look at. 
I went out into the town for a walk with my Father. As we were 


returning we were met by the charwoman saying she could get no 
fowls for the funeral breakfast tomorrow. 'Should she get a small 
turkey?' - 'Yes, she should get a small turkey.' 

Friday, December morrow 

I had a comfortable dry warm bed and nice bedroom at the Star. 
I walked up to College Green and my Father and Mother drove up 
to 8.30 breakfast. At 10.30 the canons and prebendaries who were 
to be pall-bearers began to assemble with the other people who 
attended the funeral. Cathedral morning prayer at 10.15 and as it 
was Litany Day they were not over rill 1.30. Meanwhile breakfast, 
scarves and hatbands. Mr. Hooper the lawyer and Mr. Wheeler the 
Cathedral Precentor were there. The former reminds me much of 
Hainan of Boatside, There was an old Mr. Gresley who knew my 
great uncle and said he remembered often being blessed by Bishop 
Hurd. It was not on the whole a distinguished looking company. 
They met in die dining room where over the mantelpiece hung a 
nice portrait of old Doctor Green, Chancellor of the Diocese, in his 
scarlet DJD, robes, old Mrs. Kilvert's father, or brother. Opposite 
hung a Paul Potter, and on the side wall a quaint view of Rome in a 
very long narrow picture. There was a piano in the dining room and 
another upstairs, and there was a little funny old-world picture of 
two children playing together, one of them being old Mis. Kilvert. 
The coffin had been brought downstairs and was waiting in the hall 
covered with the black velvet sweeping soft pall, white bordered. 
Boom went the great bell of the Cathedral. Church was over, and 
someone said they ought to have used the tenor bell, but they were 
using the great bell and no mistake. Boom went the bell again. 
The coffin went out immediately and the pall bearers filed out in 
pairs after it, taking their places and holding each his pall tassel on 
either side. My Father and I followed as Chief mourners in crape 
scarves and hatbands. All the rest in silk. The bearers had been 
selected not at all with reference to their fitness for the task, but with 
reference to the friendship entertained for them by the servants of 
the house. One of the bearers on the right side was very short, so 
short that he could not properly support the coffin level. The coffin 
seemed very heavy. As the procession moved across College Green 
to the Cloister arch, the men staggered under the weight and the 
coffin lurched and tilted to one side over the short bearer. One very 


fat man had constituted himself chiefest mourner of all and walked 
next the coffin before my Father and myself. The bearers, blinded 
by the sweeping pall, could not see where they were going and 
nearly missed the Cloister arch, but at length we got safe into the 
narrow dark passage and into the Cloisters. The great bell boomed 
high overhead and the deep thrilling vibration hung trembling in 
the air long after the stroke of the bell. 

So the clergy and choir came to meet us at the door, then turned 
and moved up the Cathedral nave chanting in solemn procession, 
'I am the Resurrection and the Life saith the Lord*. But meanwhile 
there was a dreadful struggle at the steps leading up from the Cloisters 
to the door. The bearers were quite unequal to the task and the 
coffin seemed crushingly heavy. There was a stamping and a scuffling, 
a mass of struggling men swaying to and fro, pushing and writhing 
and wrestling while the coffin sank and rose and sank again. Once 
or twice I thought the whole mass of men must have been down 
together with the comn atop of them and some one killed or maimed 
at least. But now came the time of the fat chief mourner. Seizing 
his opportunity he rushed into the strife by an opening large and the 
rescued coffin rose. At kst by a wild effort and tremendous heave 
the ponderous coffin was borne up the steps and through the door 
into the Cathedral where the choristers, quite unconscious of the 
scene and the fearful struggle going on behind, were singing up the 
nave like a company of angels. In the Choir there was another dread- 
ful struggle to let the coffin down. The bearers were completely 
overweighted, they bowed and bent and nearly fell and threw the 
coffin down on the floor. When it was safely deposited we all 
retired to seats right and left and a verger or beadle, in a black gown 
and holding a mace, took up his position at the head of the coffin, 
standing. The Psalm was sung nicely to a very beautiful chant. 
The Dean had the gout and could not appear, so Canon "Wood read 
the lesson well and impressively in a sonorous voice. The Grave 
Service was intoned by the Sacristan Mr. Raisin and sung by the 
choir, standing on the planking round the vault whilst a crowd of 
people looked in through the cloister windows. 

It must have been an expensive funeral. Everyone had hatbands 
down to the Choristers who wore them round their college caps. 
And there was a heavy fee to the Choir for the Choral service. 
Canon Wood floated down College Green from the cloisters to his 

lS7 o] THE WILL 95 

own house next to Miss Kilvert's, and we went home with the two 
executors, Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Hooper, to read the will. Mr. H. 
gave Mr. W. and myself each a copy of the will and read it aloud. 
The estate proved to be ^3 6,000, and about ^7000 will come to my 
Father, When he left Langley he did not even know if he should 
have enough left him to pay his expenses. The cook was entirely 
ignored, except 5 for mourning like the others. The other two 
servants had jioo apiece. Charlotte, the ladies' maid, asked Mr 
Hooper to announce this fact to the cook himself. She was sum- 
moned and he broke the news to her. She retired in dudgeon and 1 
expect the other servants had a breezy time of it as the cook was said 
to be a bad-tempered woman. Luncheon off the turkey and other 
funeral baked meats and Mr. Wheeler went away to another funeral, 
exhorting me first to see his son's church. We went down into the 
rose garden to choose the roses that are to go to Langley. Then we 
went out into the town to see Hobbs the auctioneer near Foregate 
St. Station, to tell him to come and value the furs, laces, etc., for the 
legacy duty and probate. 

We passed a very cosy evening and about 7 o'clock Mr. Hobbs 
made his appearance with an assistant kden with a box containing 
a pair of scales, which we had ordered him to bring to weigh the 
plate. When he arrived we discovered the plate ought not to be 
weighed now. But the scales were solemnly produced to weigh a 
silver seal which Hobbs pronounced worth 2/6 and which I immedi- 
ately stole from the estate in consideration of my having come from 
Clyro to lend my support and countenance on the occasion. I 
should like to have stolen a great many things, books, plate, etc., 
but I did not dare. The deep soft muffled tones were still echoing 
the grand pealing of the bells from the lighted Tower and the dark 
night was all in a tremble from the sweet vibration. 'That is for 
Miss Kilvert,' whispered the officious ladies* maid to me in the 

Saturday, 3 December 

I am 30 years old today. Well, well. 

We went to breakfast to College Green. We went back to the 
Star to pick up our luggage and there we parted, my Father ana 
Mother going to the Shrub Hill and I to the Foregate St. Station. 
But first I had my hair cut and I told the man to cut my beard 


square. 'Now,' he said, 'this is very inconsistent. Your features are 
round and you want your beard cut square/ 'Still,' I said, 'I prefer 
it.' My Mother had given me some money, five shillings, to buy a 
hook as a birthday present. Part of it, 2/-, I spent on buying a copy 
of Faust, an English translation, one of Tischendorf 's series, at the 
Foregate St. Station, as a remembrance of Worcester. 

Saturday, 17 December 

That liar and thief of the world Sarah Thomas, Mrs. Chaloner's 
servant, is gone. The evening she went no one knew what had be- 
come of her all the early part of the night. Probably she passed it 
under some hedge and not alone. At a quarter before midnight she 
asked for a bed which Mrs. Price very properly refused. I hope she 
has cleared out of this village. Beast. 

Sunday, 18 December 

I could not get out of my head a horrible story Wall was telling 
me this evening of a suicide committed by an old man named 
William Jones in the old barn, now pulled down, which stood close 
"by Chapel Dingle cottage. The old man used to work for Dyke at 
Lhvyn Gwillim, but becoming helpless and infirm he was put upon 
the parish. It is supposed that this preyed upon his mind. He was a 
very good faithful servant and a man of a sturdy independent 
-character who could not bear the idea of not being able any longer 
to maintain himself and hated to be supported by the parish. 'I used 
to bake his bit of meat for him that was allowed him by the Board', 
said Mr. Wall, 'for Rachel Williams with whom he was lodging at 
the Chapel Dingle was out at work every day. My baking day was 
mostly Friday. On Friday he had been up with his meat and I did 
not notice anything more than usual about him. At noon on 
Saturday Rachel's step-children missed him. They had seen him go 
towards the bam some hours before. They went and looked through 
a lancet hole of the old building and saw the old man lying on the 
floor, and they came back saying that old William Jones was lying 
in the barn dead. The master and I went down to the barn. Inside 
the bam there was a door leading into a beast house. The old man 
could not shut the barn door from the inside, so he had gone into the 
beast house and had shut himself in. Then he had leaned his stick up 
in a comer quite tidy. He had then taken out a razor, unsheathed it, 
putting the sheath back into his pocket. He was lying on the floor 


on his face when we saw him. The master turned him over. Heaven 
send I never see such a sight again. His head was nearly cut off, both 
arteries were cut through, the tongue was unrooted and, (perhaps in 
Bis agony), he had put his hand into the wound and torn his "keck" 
and everything out/ 

Wednesday, 21 December 

Coming into the Vicarage from the school I found Sir Gilbert 
Lewis pacing round the gravel walk round the lawn in gloves and 
stick and great coat trying to get warm before starting on his cold 
journey to Harpton. He told me a good deal about Maria Kilvert of 
Worcester whom he knew, as he is a Canon of Worcester. He said 
she was tall and thin. She used to come rapidly into Church (into 
the Cathedral) to receive the sacrament two or three times a month, 
but for the last three years she had not attended the other services. 
She used to come in a respirator. She shut herself up almost entirely 
ever since he had been Canon of Worcester, 15 years. Lady Lewis 
used to call and was sometimes admitted. Sir Gilbert had not called 
for three years. The house looked most melancholy and dreary, 
like a house of the dead, no movement, the blinds never drawn up, 
no carriage ever stopping at the gate, scarcely any one ever going 
out or in at the door. Sir Gilbert does not believe she had the slightest 
acquaintance with Lord Lyttelton, or that she even knew him 
by sight. He said mad people are apt to come to Cathedrals. There 
was a mad woman who came to Worcester Cathedral and gave him 
a great deal of trouble by screeching out. There was a Mr. Quarrell 
who used to make antics at the time of the Communion. At a 
certain point in the service this man would bow down till he got his 
head on the pavement and his movements were so extraordinary 
that all they could do was to look at him and watch him. The 
authorities did not know what to do with him. They could not say, 
'You shall not be a Communicant', but they let him know indirectly 
that they thought his proceedings very ridiculous. *Ah' said Sir 
Gilbert, 'you don't know all the little games that go on in Cathedrals.* 

Sunday, Christmas Day 

As I ky awake praying in the early morning I thought I heard a 
sound of distant bells. It was an intense frost. I sat down in my 
bath upon a sheet of thick ice which hroke in the middle into large 
pieces whilst sharp points and jagged edges stuck all round the sides 



of the tub like chevaux de frise, not particularly comforting to the 
naked thighs and loins, for the keen ice cut like broken glass. The 
ice water stung and scorched like fire. I had to collect the floating 
pieces of ice and pile them on a chair before I could use the sponge 
and then I had to thaw the sponge in my hands for it was a mass of 
ice. The morning was most brilliant. Walked to the Sunday School 
with Gibbins-and the road sparkled with millions of rainbows, the 
seven colours gleaming in every glittering point of hoar frost. The 
Church was very cold in spite of two roaring stove fires. Mr. V, 
preached and went to Bettws. 

Monday, 26 December 

Much warmer and almost a thaw. Left Clyro at n a.m. 

At Chippenham my father and John were on the platform. After 
dinner we opened a hamper of game sent by the Venables, and found 
in it a pheasant, a hare, a brace of rabbits, a brace of woodcocks, 
and a turkey. Just like them, and their constant kindness. 

Tuesday, 27 December 

After dinner drove into Chippenham with Perch and bought a 
pair of skates at Benk's for 17/6. Across the fields to the Draycot 
water and the young Awdry ladies chafTed me about my new skates. 
I had not been on skates since I was here last, 5 years ago, and was 
very awkward for the first ten minutes, but the knack soon came 
again. There was a distinguished company on the ice, Lady Dangan, 
Lord and Lady Royston and Lord George Paget all skating. Also 
Lord and Lady Sydney and a Mr. Calcrort, whom they all of course 
called the Hangman. I had the honour of being knocked down by 
Lord Royston, who was coming round suddenly on the outside 
edge. A large fire of logs burning within an enclosure of wattled 
hurdles. Harriet Awdry skated beautifully and jumped over a half 
sunken punt. Arthur Law skating jumped over a chair on its legs. 

Wednesday, 28 December 

An inch of snow fell last night and as we walked to Draycot to 
skate the snow stonn began again. As we passed Langley Burrell 
Church we heard the strains of the quadrille band on the ice at Dray- 
cot. The afternoon grew murky and when we began to skate the 
air was thick with falling snow. But it soon stopped and gangs of 
labourers were at work immediately sweeping away the new fallen 
snow and skate cuttings of ice. The Lancers was beautifully skated. 


When it grew dark the ice was lighted with Chinese lanterns, and 
the intense glare of blue, green, and crimson lights and magnesium 
riband made the whole place as light as day, Then people skated 
with torches. 

y, 29 December 

Skating at Draycot again with Perch, Fewer people on the ice 
today, No quadrille band, torches or fireworks, but it was very 
pleasant, cosy and sociable. Yesterday when the Lancers was being 
sbted Lord Royston was directing the figures. Harriet Awdry 
corrected him in one figure and he was quite wrong. But he im- 
mediately left the quadrille and sat down sulking on the bank, saying 
to one of his friends, 'Those abominable Miss Awdrys have contra- 
dicted me about the Lancers'. This was overheard and repeated tp 
Harriet by a mutual friend, and the next time she saw him she said 
meaningly, 'Lord Royston, sometimes remarks are overheard and 
repeated', or something to that effect. However soon after he 
wanted to make it up and asked her to skate up the ice hand in hand 
with him. 'Certainly not, Lord Royston/ she said. Lady Royston 
skates very nicely and seems very nice, A sledge chair was put on 
the ice and Lady Royston and Lady Dangan, Margaret, Fanny, 
Maria, and Harriet Awdry were drawn about in it by turns, Charles 
Awdry pushing behind and Edmund and Arthur and Walter pulling 
with ropes. It was a capital team and went at a tremendous pace up 
and down the ice. A German ladies' maid from Draycot House 
was skating and making ridiculous antics. 


New Years Day 

My Another, Perch and I sat up last night to watch the old year 
out and the New Year in. The wind was in the North and the sound 
of the bells came faintly and muffled over the snow from Chippen- 
ham and Kington. We opened the dining room window to loose 
in* the sound of the chimes and 'the New Year* as they say in Wales. 
It was bitter cold, but we went to the door, Perch and I, to hear 
better. I was carrying my travelling clock in my hand and as we 
stood on the terrace just outside the front door, the little clock struck 
midnight with its tinkling silvery bell in the keen frost. We thought 
we could hear three peals of Church bells, Cliippenham, St. Paul's, 
and very faintly Kington. 'Ring happy bells across the snow/ 

When Perch came back from skating at Draycot last night, he 
amused us with an account of Friday *s and Saturday's doings on the 
ice. On Friday they had a quadrille band from Malmesbury, skated 
quadrilles, Lancers, and Sir Roger de Coverley. Then they skated 
up and down with torches, ladies and gentlemen pairing off and 
skating arm in arm, each with a torch. There were numbers of 
Chinese lanterns all round the water, blue, crimson and green lights, 
magnesium riband, and a fire balloon was sent up. Maria Awdry, 
forgetting herself and the passage of time, inadvertently spoke to 
Perch calling him 'Teddy' instead of 'Mr. Kilvert'. Having done 
which she perceived her mistake, turned 'away and smote herself on 
the mouth , while Perch 'looked at her with a face like a stone'. 
While people were standing about in groups or skating up and down 
gently young Spencer skated up suddenly with outstretched arm 
to shake hands with Teddy. At die critical moment his skate hitched 
and he lost his balance and made a deep but involuntary obeisance 
before Perch, describing 'an attenuated arch', with his fingers and toes 
resting on the ice. People hid their faces, turned and skated away with 
a sour smile or grinning with repressed laughter. Perch stood still 
waiting for the 'attenuated arch' to unbind itself and retrieve its 
erect posture, looking on with a face like a stone'. Gradually the 
'arch' rose from its deep obeisance. The arch was the arch described 
by an attenuated torn cat. During the torch skating Harriet Awdry 
hurled her half-burnt torch ashore. Lord Cowley was walking up 
and down the path on the bank watching with great impatience the 

I8?I ] OLD COWLEY 101 

skaters whom lie detests. The fiery torch came whirling and flaming 
through the dark and hit the noble diplomatist sharply across the 
shins, rebounding from which it lay blazing at the foot of a tree. 
Lord Cowley was very angry. 1 wish these people wouldn't throw 
their torches about here at me/ grumbled his lordship. 'Come 
away and hide behind the island or he'll see you,' said Perch to 
Harriet. So they glided away and from the cover of the island 
they watched Lord Cowley angrily beating the blazing torch 
against the ground to try to put it out. But the more he beat it, the 
more the torch flamed and showered sparks into his face. Harriet 
described the incident thus, 1 hit old Cowley such a crack over the 

Last week Mr. Greenwood, the Calne organist, fell on the 
Bowood ice and broke his nose. The next day his son, a boy of 15, 
fell while sliding, struck his head against a stone, fractured his skull 
and died in an hour and a half by the lake side. 

Tuesday, 3 January 

I went to see old Isaac Giles. He lamented the loss of his famous 
old pear tree. He told me he was nearly 80 and remembered seeing 
the Scots Greys passing through Chippenham on their way to 
Waterloo. They looked very much down, he said, for they knew 
where they were going. 

Wednesday, 4 January 

At 8 p<m. I went out on to the terrace. There was a keen clean 
frost and the moon was bright in a cloudless sky. Some men were 
beating the holly bushes along the old bridle lane at the top of 
Parson's Ground. They probably had a clap net and were beating 
for blackbirds, &c. 'Look out,' cried one man. I could hear their 
voices quite distinctly across the fields in the silence of the frost. 
Children's voices seemed to be calling everywhere. I heard them 
from the village and across the common. A number of children 
must have been out. Perhaps they were sliding in the moonlight. 

[The diarist goes to stay at Claygate in Surrey.] 
Thursday, 12 January 

Sam, Perch and I went up to Town together, walking to Thames 
Ditton station, 3 miles, as the roads were too icy for the horse to 

A little before one o'clock I called at 9 Wilton Crescent by Miss 


Higginson's desire, but she was out of Town and not being sure 
whether Lady Frances would remember me I did not go in. I 
wandered back along Piccadilly to a pastrycook's and then up the 
Burlington Arcade. In the Arcade I went into a photograph shop 
to get some scraps and asked if he had a photograph of the picture 
*Rock of Ages' or 'Clinging to the Cross'. A dark French-looking 
bearded man was reading a paper behind the counter. He got up 
and looked at me steadily and then backed towards the fire to get 
away as fai as possible. 'No, Sir', he said sternly after scrutinizing 
me narrowly. I asked him to show me some other photographs. 'No, 
Sir/ he said again sternly. 'I never will show anything to persons 
who ask me for the "R.ock of Ages"/ 'Why?' I said. 'Is there any 
harm in asking for the photograph?' He said it was copyright and 
any one selling the photograph was liable to a penalty of 2. I said 
I was quite unaware of the fact and was sorry I had asked him for 
the picture. Then I asked him again to show me some more photo- 
graphs. 'No, Sir, thank you/ he repeated. His manner was very 
curious and he was evidently very uneasy and anxious to get me out 
of the shop as quickly as possible without letting me see anything. I 
saw there was something wrong, but could not make out what was 
the matter. I was sorry afterwards that I had not insisted on seeing 
his goods as I might have done, for he was legally bound to show 
them. Opposite the Charing Cross Hotel I met Sam and we walked 
along the Strand to Waterloo. He explained the mystery of the 
shop in the Arcade. The man is notorious for selling obscene French 
photographs. The police have long been watching him, but have 
never caught him yet. He thought I was a spy. I got some scraps 
in another shop in Piccadilly. We walked home to Claygate from 
Thames Ditton in a brilliant hard frost. 

Tuesday, 17 January 

Sam, Emmie and I went up to Town. In the street outside one of 
the police courts there was a dense crowd, great excitement and 
inextinguishable laughter. The prison van stood at the door and a 
prisoner had just been put in. Two handsome fajr-haired girls, bare- 
armed and bare-headed, were shouting derisively to the person 
inside, who seemed to have incurred the popular hatred and con- 
tempt. The girls approached the van closely and yelled insulting 
words to the miserable creature inside while the people stood round 

lg?I ] CLAREMONT 103 

and grinned applause. Then the great long black van drove rapidly 
off through the crowd, followed by the shouts & yells of the people, 
[The diarist returns to Langley Burrell.] 

Wednesday, 18 January 

A soft sunny showery morning and it felt like spring as we 
walked to Claremont (Sam and I) soon after noon. Mr. Mac- 
donald's 1 quarters' are the same as those of the equerries over the 
handsome stables. Before luncheon he took us round the gardens 
and stables. (In his rooms is the log of Herne's oak from which he 
cut a wedge for Emmie.) There is a great deal of glass, but the pkce 
was sadly neglected during the residence of the French Royal 
Family who let the gardens and glass houses to a market gardener. 
Mr. Macdonald is gradually reducing things to order and the 
slirubberies and lawns and all the grounds are much improved 
during the year and a half that he has been in power at Claremont. 

There is stabling for some 40 horses at Claremont. When the 
Queen stays here 7 or 8 policemen are on duty and live on the 
premises. Mr. M, took us across the finely timbered park down to 
the home farm where there is a tall column crested with a stone 
statue of a peacock, the bearing of the Earls of Clare to whom the 
property formerly belonged, before it was bought by Lord Clive. 
Round the base of the column are several inscriptions, one com- 
memorating the marriage of Prince Leopold with Princess Char- 
lotte, another the building of Claremont House and the laying out 
of the grounds by 'Capability Brown*. 

Mr. M. took us over the equerries' quarters and showed us the 
comfortable rooms usually occupied by Sir Thomas Biddulph, 
Lord Alfred Paget and Col. Ponsonby. Lord Alfred Paget hates 
fire-guards and the housemaids always insisted on putting one on his 
fire. Whenever he came into his room the fire-guard was sure to 
be on. He tried to hide it in every corner of the room, but the 
housemaid always found it and put it on again. One day Lord 
Alfred was found on his knees to the great surprise of one of his 
friends who came in suddenly, for it was not a posture which was. 
familiar to Lord Alfred. But it was discovered that he was striving 
to pack away the fire-guard into his portmanteau and so effectually 
hide it from the careful search of the housemaid. When the Queen 
1 The Queen's factor. 


comes over from Windsor to Claremont she drives at a great pace 
all the way, 12 miles an hour. The distance is 18 miles and she 
changes horses at Chertsey, but the equerry in attendance is obliged 
to ride the same horse all the way. A short time ago she came over 
for the day, Lord Alfred in attendance riding 16 stone and riding 
by the carriage door covered with mud from the wheels. They 
came at the grand trot ah 1 the way, and when they reached Clare- 
mont the Queen said alighting, 1 hope you are not tired, Lord 
Alfred/ 'Well, Ma'am', drawled Lord Alfred, Ve had all our 
work to do to keep up.' The Queen is always addressed in private 
as 'Madam' to save *Your Majesty' which is not allowed. 

From the passage of the equerries' quarters we descended a stair- 
case into the stables immediately below. The equerries try to get 
the horses put under each other's rooms that they themselves may 
not have their sleep broken by the stamping and neighing of the 
horses and the rattling and ringing of their chains. There is not room 
for the equerries usually in the house so they are sent down here to 
sleep. Mr. M. gave us an admirable luncheon of roast mutton and 
claret followed by an excellent Gloucestershire wild duck. Also he 
made us drink some very powerful mountain dew. After which 
we sallied out towards the house which we entered by a back 
door after passing through a tunnel well managed so that tradesmen 
and servants can approach the back entrance without being seen 
from the house. We went through the large dark kitchen with its 
immense fire and admirable hot plate dresser. In the back kitchen 
a boiler had just burst and the ruin of the boiler was standing 
surrounded by debris, waiting for repairs. Mr. M. had been very 
busy in the house all the morning giving orde"rs and superintending 
the preparations for Lord Lorne and the Princess Louise who are to 
pass their honeymoon here in March. l 

We went up a staircase into the Grand Hall, which is oval and 
paved with white and black marble. There are some busts in the 
tall, of Prince Leopold and the Princess Charlotte. 

The rooms he en suite all round the grand hall and staircase. The 
first we went into was the drawing room furnished and coloured 
with blue, with some handsome orange-yellow Japanese or Chinese 
folding screens; The window seats of white marble. In this room 
are two beautiful pictures, one of the Duchess of Kent with the 
1 The wedding took place on the 21 st March. 


Princess Victoria as a child in her lap. The other has only 
been placed at Claremont and is a copy of the original picture" o 
Princess Charlotte painted by her command and at her expense, 
and intended by her to be a birthday present to her husband for 
his birthday which happened just after her own death. 

The face is a singularly beautiful one. The original picture is at 
Brussels. We saw also the room and bed in which the French 
;Queen Marie Amelie died. In this room there are several portraits 
Tof the French family, including pictures of the French Queen 
ierself and of her husband Louis Philippe. Next door was her 
^dressing room with a deep large bath, almost concealed, in which 
>the old French Queen was nearly drowned. Her attendant had left 
her for a few minutes and when she returned the old Queen was 
^struggling and plunging about in the bath almost at her last gasp. 
; Her picture gives the impression of a very handsome aristocratic 
^person, of decided character, with a sweet and dignified face. Next 
"is the room and bed in which the Princess Charlotte died. The 
"room has remained almost undisturbed since then. At the time of 
the Princess's confinement the ministers of State were assembled in 
Hie dressing room adjoining. 

* Next is the Ball Room, a fine room some 60 feet by 30, carpeted 
with a richly coloured superb deep Persian carpet which was 
'brought over by Lord Clive and which has been in use ever since. 
^It had hard wear during the occupation of the French Royal 
Family for they used the room as a chapel and were always having 
vprayers and mass in it. The carpet however has been scoured and 
JOOKS entirely bright and new. This grand suite of rooms runs 
-completely round the house and this and some others of the rooms 
4pok out towards Esher over the terrace and what is called the 
^garden front of the house. 

? There are several more family portraits (English) in the dining 
yoom, but it was almost too clark to see them. There is a fine 
expanding table, and between the table and the fire stands a folding 
! screen covered with pictures which Princess Charlotte used to cut 
T)ut and colour and paste on to it as an amusement on wet days. 
Jlhe Queen (Victoria) sits at the round table with her back to the 
>fire. When the French people were here they used to sit down to 
jdinner every day 70 in number, the whole household assembling 
together and the upper servants sitting below the salt. 


We went upstairs and got out on to the leads on the top of 
the house, from whence there is a splendid view on clear days. The 
Grand Stand at Epsom looks quite near. It began to rain and we 
came in again and went into the room now occupied by Sir W. 
Jenner. It is a room in the roof, low but large and comfortable. 
It was Lord dive's bedroom, the room he chose in preference to all 
the rest of the house, and he never occupied any other. When the 
S.W. gales blew and rattled the windows Lord Clive used to get 
up in the night to wedge them tight and guineas being more plen- 
tiful with him than anything else he always used them. The house- 
maids used to transfer these guineas to their own pockets in the 
morning and prayed with reason for a S.W. storm. The room is 
said to be haunted and was not used for some time, but when Dr. 
Jenner heard of this he said, 'Put me there', and he has been in 
possession ever since. The rooms are appropriated by cards with 
the names of the occupants written on them placed in brass card 
frames on the doors, e.g. 'Sir J. Biddulph*, 'Sir W. Jenner', &c., &c. 

Then we went out of doors to see the grounds. 

Close to the corners of the house stand some noble ancient 
cedars, one with gigantic horizontal arms, one of them, the lower- 
most, supported by props. On a high mount clothed with wood 
rises the ruined tower built by the Earls of Clare. This mount 
gives the name of the Lords of Clare to Claremont. In their time 
the dwelling house stood lower down in the. park. Below the 
mount there is a lake and beautiful alleys and gkdes of rhododen- 
drons amongst the woods. Looking down upon the lake through 
a screening fringe of trees is the old summer arbour of the Princess, 
a place which she was very fond of and which the King of the 
Belgians after her death converted into a memorial temple. It was 
opened and unshuttered for us. It is a circular building with small 
high stained windows emblazoned with the arms of the Royal 
Houses. Before the door runs a small terrace with a low iron railing 
ornamented now with the monogram L.L. From the terrace you 
look down through the trees upon the lake. 

The Camellia house was very beautiful, the trees loaded with 
white and crimson buds shining like stars among the glossy dark 
green foliage. 

We wandered about the beautiful paths and glades under the 
great oaks and firs, till we came round again under the Claremont 


ruined tower peeping from the top of the steep high mount through 
the trees and so by the great cork tree to the front of the house 
adorned by the grand portico supported by massive and lofty 
Corinthian columns. 

[The diarist returns to Langley Burrell,] 
Wednesday, 25 January 

Mrs. Daniel! was at home and I sat some time talking to her. She 
told me about their 5 Japanese pupils, all noble, and one of royal 
blood, who has gone to the seat otwar with an official deputation 
from Japan to make notes and take observations for the benefit of 
his country. Some of these young Japanese gentlemen live across 
the way at Miss Salters* old house. Mrs. Daniell said that during 
the time they have had these Japanese the young men have never 
given them an uncomfortable moment, and their manners are 
perfect, so courteous and kind and so loving to each other. The 
Daniells had a very short notice of their coming. Fred Lowden 
wrote to ask Daniell to receive them whilst he was on the voyage 
with them, bringing them over. They go to Church, but they have 
no particular religion of their own. Only Saturday nights seemed to 
be a solemn time with them. One Saturday evening one of them was 
found in a dark room alone on his knees. Today it was rumoured 
that Paris was about to capitulate. How prophetic was the old 
Welsh country dance taught to men by the fairies and called (why?) 
'The Downfall of Paris'. 

A fly took Fanny, Dora and myself to dinner at Langley House at 
7.30. The Ashes were very agreeable and Thersie Asbe was in the 
drawing room before dinner sitting on an ottoman in a white dress, 
white boots and gloves, almost a grown-up young lady and looking 
exceedingly nice with her dark long hair and brilliant colour. I 
took Mrs. Welsh into dinner and sat between her and Mrs. Win- 
throp, whom I congratulated on her daughter Annie's engagement 
to a lieutenant in R.N. Mrs. Winthrop jumped right round on her 
chair and stared at me as if she had heard the subject mentioned then 
for the first time. She said at last that she could not deny it, but the 
engagement was not publicly declared. It was a regular facer but 
her extraordinary manner was owing to her extreme nervousness. 
Mr. Winthrop said that all the water he and his family had to wash in 
was some filthy black water full of black beetles stagnant on the leads. 
[The diarist returns to Clyro.J 


Wednesday, February Day, Candlemas Eve 
Sarah Whitney came to my rooms this evening for an old pair of 
trousers I had promised her. She told me that Mrs. Jones, the 
jockey's wife at the corner, had a fortnight ago left some linen drying 
out on the churchyard hedge all night having forgotten to take it in. 
By morning Mrs. Jones declared two pairs of drawers and a 
'shimmy* had been stolen, and her suspicions fell on some of the 
neighbours. She and her husband consulted the ordeal of the key 
and Bible (turning the key in the Bible). The key said, 'Bella 
Whitney'. Then Jones the jockey went to the brickyard and got 
some clay which he made into a ball. Inside the ball he put a live 
toad. The clay ball was either boiled or put into the fire and during 
the process of boiling or baking the toad was expected to scratch the 
name of the thief upon a piece of paper put into the clay ball along 
with him. Some other horrible charm was used to discover the 
thief, the figure of a person being pricked out on a piece of clay. It 
is almost incredible. 

Friday, 3 February 

This evening we had our 4th Penny Reading. The room was 
fuller than ever, crammed, people almost standing on each other's 
heads, some sitting up on the high window-seats. Many persons 
came from Hay, Bryngwyn and Painscastle, Numbers could not 
get into the room and hung and clustered round the windows out- 
side trying to get in at the windows. The heat was fearful and the 
foul air gave me a crushing headache and almost stupefied me. I 
recited Jean Ingelow's 'Reflections* and my own "Fairy Ride'. 

Saturday, 4 February 

I hear that last night there were some 60 people standing outside 
the school during the whole time of the Readings. They were 
clinging and clustering round the windows, like bees, standing on 
chairs, looking through the windows, and listening, their faces tier 
upon tier. Some of them tried to get through the windows when 
the windows were opened for more air. 
Monday, 6 February 

I looked out at dawn. The moon -was entangled among light 
clouds in the North and made a golden maze and network across 
which the slender poplars swayed and bowed themselves with a 
solemn and measured movement in the west wind. 

I?1 ] MRS. IRVINE 109 

The afternoon was so beautiful that I walked over to Broad 
Meadow to see old David Price again. David Price's young good- 
humoured-looking slatternly wife opened the door to me. The old 
man was in bed and weaker than when I saw him last. Price said, 
'One day a lady was walking on a hill in Flintshire when she met 
Prince Caradoc who wanted to be rude with her but she spurned 
him. Whereupon he drew his sword and cut off her head. And a 
monk coming by at the moment clapped her head on again and she 
lived 15 years afterwards'. 

Tuesday, 7 February 

Finished reading Puck, clever, bitter, extravagant, full of repeti- 
tions and absurdities and ludicrous ambitious attempts at fine 
writing, weak and bombastic. The great blot is the insane and 
vicious hatred of women. Evidently written by a woman. 

Monday, St. Valentines Eve 

Mrs. Vaughan told me that Mrs. Irvine whom I used to see at 
Gilfach-y-rheol and the Harbour is still at the Harbour. She is a 
daughter of old Squire Beavan of Glascwm, who is a magistrate and 
deputy lieutenant. She married against his will one Lieutenant 
Irvine (I believe). When her husband died Mrs. Irvine returned to 
her father's house at Glascwm. He refused to take her in, saying that 
her husband had left her ^500 a year and that she had made away 
with it. She said this was all a wrong tale. Squire Beavan, who has 
some .1500 a year, then put his daughter upon the parish, and for 
some time she lived on 2/6 a week like a common pauper. Then the 
parish said her father should keep her. But her father wouldn't and 
sent her back to the parish. She soon got disgusted with being a 
pauper and was half starved. Out of pity the David Vaughans took 
her in on the condition that she should teach their children. But 
they soon found that she could teach them nothing, for she did not 
know anything about anything. Moreover she was of no use in the 
house for she would not turn her hand to a thing or make herself of 
the slightest use. They soon got very tired of her and she was a great 
burden and a heavy expense to them, taking the bread out of their 
many children's mouths. She stayed there three years. When they 
got her to go she went to the Joneses at the Cloggau where she 
stayed a year, and they could not get rid of her till in an unguarded 
moment she went one Sunday evening to Colva Church. When she 


came back she found the door locked and was earnestly recom- 
mended through an upstairs window to ask Mrs. Jones of the 
Harbour for a night's lodging. She has been at the Harbour ever 
since, more than a year, and no one knows when she will go. She 
does not give them a chance of locking her out for she never leaves 
the house. 

Friday, 24 February 

Villaging about to Mrs. Jones at the Infant School, Jo Phillips and 
Margaret Griffith, who told me that in the old-fashioned farm houses 
a steen of butter and something particularly good was always kept 
till March and not touched because March was reckoned a very 
severe trying month and people were thought to want some special 
support then. Old-fashioned folks called March 'heir-loun' or some 
such name. 

Saturday, 25 February 

Sophy told me of the murder of 'Sammy', son of Rees Pritchard, 
the Great Vicar of Llandovery. He was murdered by the two half- 
brothers of the heiress of Maes y Felin whom Sammy was courting. 
They did not wish the property to go with her away from them and 
out of the family, so they waylaid their sister's lover, murdered him, 
put him in a sack, and threw him into the Towy. Ever after that 
'the ill will of God' was upon Maes y Felin and nothing grew, trees 
nor grass. 

A servant girl living at Pant y weil near Llandovery 150 years ago 
was told by her mistress overnight to get up very early in the morn- 
ing and go to the town to fetch something. She got up at midnight 
and thinking the full moonlight was dawn started for Llandovery 
without looking at the clock. When she came to the bridge over 
the Towy she met four men carrying a dead man whom they threw 
into the liver. The girl went home and died of the fright in two 
days. *They murdered him,' said Sophy in her broken English, 
'according to money.' 

Monday ', 27 February 

Tossing about with face ache till 3 o'clock this morning. Clyro 
Petty Sessions. Fifteen people summoned for neglecting to have 
their children vaccinated, but they got off by paying costs. A full 
bench of magistrates, 5, and the Chief Constable was present. An 
old magistrate, Mr. Bold, came in kte and in long riding leggings, 

jj 7J ] 'VITAL SPARK' m 

very dirty, for he had ridden from Boughrood. He amused himself 
during a dull part of the proceedings by combing his grey hair with 
a pocket comb. Then he lay back in his chair with his hands clasped 
behind his head. 

I hear the Rifle Volunteer Corps Concert at Hay last Wednesday 
was moderately successful. In the middle of the performance the 
Rifle Corps band played 'Vital Spark', and a man named Clement 
skated round the platform upon wheel skates, and fell off into the 
front row of ladies. Every one rose, the ladies were very much 
frightened, and one lady's dress was irretrievably damaged. Can 
any one conceive a more senseless piece of buffoonery? 
Wednesday, March Day 

After dinner last night Mr. V. kindly anxious to cure my face 
ache made me drink four large glasses of port. The consequence 
was that all night and all today I have been groaning with a bursting 
raging splitting sick headache. 

Thursday, March Morrow 

I went up the lane to see the old soldier and read him from The 
Times a notice of Lord Palmerston's tours in France in 1814 and 
1818, mentioning the occupation of Paris by the Allies, and giving 
some anecdotes of the Duke and his opinion of the British soldiers, 
especially of the Peninsular regiments. The Duke's kind words 
pleased the old Peninsular Veteran. He remembered the time so 
well. He had seen them all in their pride. Emperors, King, Duke. 
Then I read to him by the fast fading light Matthew ix and after 
some talk he asked to receive the Sacrament shortly. As I carne 
home alone in the dusk the banks above and the meadows below 
the road were rilled with the sweet kst singing of innumerable birds. 

Monday , 6 March 

I like wandering about these lonely, waste and ruined places. 
There dwells among them a spirit of quiet and gentle melancholy 
more congenial and akin to my own spirit than full life and gaiety 
and noise. 

Sunday, 12 March 

After evening service I went in to see Joe Phillips and read some 
of the Evening Prayeis for him. He told me that on the night when 
Anne Phillips, Jane Phillips' daughter, ran down from Clyro Court, 
.threw herself into the river and was drowned, some of the Sheep 


House lads across the river who were out in the meadows late look- 
ing after the sheep and cattle, heard loud and repeated screams from 
the river. It was getting dark, and they could see nothing. The poor 
girl's father was in prison and some of her fellow servants had f>een 
twitting her with this and saying, 'When youi father comes out of 
prison there will be a place for you'. She jumped up, ran straight 
down to the river and plunged in. Her grandmother hung herself 
at the Burnt House, behind the door. 

Tuesday, 14 March 

The afternoon had been stormy but it cleared towards sunset. 
Gradually the heavy rain clouds rolled across the valley to the foot 
of the opposite mountains and began climbing up their sides 
wreathing in rolling masses of vapoui. One solitary cloud still hung 
over the brilliant sunlit town, and that whole cloud was a rainbow. 
Gradually it lost its bright prismatic hues and moved away up die 
Cusop Dingle in the shape of a pillar and of the colour of golden 
dark smoke. The Black Mountains were invisible, being wrapped 
in clouds, and I saw one very white brilliant dazzling cloud where 
the mountains ought to have been. This cloud grew more white 
and dazzling every moment, till a clearer burst of sunlight scattered 
the mists and revealed the truth. This brilliant white cloud that I 
had been looking and wondering at was the mountain in snow. The 
last cloud and mist rolled away over the mountain tops and the 
mountains stood up in the clear blue heaven, a long rampart line of 
dazzling glittering snow so as no fuller on earth can white them. I 
stood rooted to the ground, struck with amazement and over- 
whelmed at the extraordinary splendour of this marvellous spectacle. 
I never saw anything to equal it I think, even among the high Alps. 
One's first involuntary thought in the presence of these magnificent 
sights is to lift up the heart to God and humbly thank Him for 
having made the earth so beautiful. An intense glare of primrose 
light streamed from the west deepening into rose and crimson. 
There was not a flake of snow anywhere but on the mountains and 
they stood up, the great white range rising high into the blue sky, 
while all the rest of the world at their feet ky ruddy rosy brown. 
The sudden contrast was tremendous, electrifying. I could have 
cried with the excitement of the overwhelming spectacle. I wanted 
someone to admire the sight with me. A man came whistling along 


the road riding upon a cart horse. I would have stopped him and 
drawn his attention to the mountains but I thought he would 
probably consider me mad. He did not seem to be the least struck 
by or to be taking the smallest notice of the great sight. But it 
seemed to me as if one might never see such a sight again. The 
great white range which had at first gleamed with an intense brilliant 
yellow light gradually deepened with the sky to the indescribable 
red tinge that snow-fields assume in sunset light, and then the grey 
cold tint crept up the great slopes quenching the rosy warmth which 
lingered still a few minutes on the summits. Soon all was cold and 
grey and all that was left of the brilliant gleaming range was the dim 
ghostly phantom of the mountain rampart scarce distinguishable 
fiom tie greying sky. 

Saturday, 18 March 

A heavenly day, reminding one of Wordsworth's 'March Noon', 
larks mounting, bees humming in the hot afternoon, lambs playing. 
Children in die lanes gathering violets and primroses, and the 
mountain streaked and striped and ribbed with snow. 

Mothering Sunday, 19 March 

And all the country in an upturn going out visiting. Girls and 
boys going home to see their mothers and taking them cakes, brothers 
and sisters of middle age going to see each other. As I walked to 
Bettws it was so sultry that I thought it would thunder. The sun 
was almost overpowering. Heavy bkck clouds drove up and 
rolled round the sky without veiling the hot sunshine, bkck clouds 
with white edges they were, looking suspiciously hie thunder 
clouds. Against these black clouds the sunshine showed the faint 
delicate green and pink of the trees thickening with bursting buds. 

Brothering Monday, 20 March 

Miserable news from Paris. Another Revolution, barricades, the 
troops of the line fraternizing with the insurgent National Guards, 
two Generals shot, two more in the hands and tender mercies of the 
beastly cowardly Paris mob. Those Parisians are the soim of the 
earth, and Paris is the crater of the volcano, France, and a bottomless 
pit of revolution and anarchy. 

Friday, 24 March 

After luncheon I spent a happy half hour in the lovely warm 
afternoon wandering about Clyro churchyard among the graves. 


I sat awhile on the old Catholic tomb of die 'Relict of Thomas 
Bridgwater' under the S. Church wall, near the chancel door. This 
is my favourite tomb. I love it better than all the* tombs in the 
churchyard with its kindly 'Requiescat in pace*, the prayer so full 
of peace, with its solemn reminder 'Tendimus hue crimes* and the 
simple Latin cross at the head of the inscription. There is something 
much more congenial to my mind in these old Catholic associations 
than in the bald ugly hideous accompaniments which too often 
mark the place of Protestant or rather Puritan burial. The Puritans 
of the last century seem to have tried to make the idea and place and 
associations of death and burial as gloomy, hideous and repulsive 
as possible, and they have most signally succeeded. 

A small and irreverent spider came running swiftly towards me 
across the flat tombstone and scuttling over the sacred words and 
memories with most indecent haste and levity. Here it was very 
quiet and peaceful, nothing to disturb the stillness but the subdued 
village voices and the cawing of the rooks nesting and brooding in 
the tops of the high trees in the Castle clump. Somewhere near at 
hand I heard the innkeeper's voice behind the church and across the 
brook giving orders to a workman about planting some quick and 

Wednesday, 29 March 

Went down the meadows to Mrs. Tudor's. Handsome Tudor 
was working in his garden. By the door lay a salmon rod on the 
ground, so I knew the Squire was having luncheon in the cottage. 
I went round and there he was with old Harry Pritchaid. He 
brought out his telescope and we had a look at Crichton and Mrs. 
Nicholl both wading in the river and fishing under the red cliff. I 
crossed the ditch, climbed the bank and went along the beautiful 
cliff walk on the edge of the cliff looking over the edge at Mrs. 
Nicholl standing on a rock fishing far below till I came to a steep 
path leading down the rocks to where Crichton was fishing. 'Henry,* 
called Mrs. NichoU's voice faintly down the river. 'She has got a 
good fish/ said Crichton, winding up his line after looking at her a 
moment. We scrambled over the rocks to her, but she had landed 
her fish before we reached her. I was amazed to see Mrs. Nicholl 
coolly wading more than ankle deep in the river with her ordinary 
lady's boots on. She walked about in the river as if she were on dry 

l87I j WORDSWORTH 115 

land, jumped from rock to rock, slipped off the rocks into the river, 
scrambled out again, splashed about Eke a fish. March water is cold. 
Mrs. Nicholl must be an uncommonly plucky woman. Crichton 
says she rides to hounds and nothing stops her. She does not care 
what she does. He hooked a salmon the other day and his boy was 
clumsy in landing the fish, so Mrs. Nicholl plunged into the water 
on the edge of a deep hole, embraced the great fish round the body, 
and carried him out in her arms. 

Friday, April Eve 

A letter from Emily Dew asking me to go to Whitney Rectory 
either tomorrow or next Tuesday to meet Miss Hutchinson, the 
niece of William Wordsworth by marriage and the god-daughter 
of his sister Dorothy, for whom I have a great admiration. I shall 
certainly go. I remember seeing this Miss Hutchinson at Whitney 
Rectory with her sister years ago, but then tfyey were very shy and 
hid behind a hedge. 

Saturday, April Day 

I went to Whitney by the 2.6 train. Miss Hutchinson was at home 
at the Rectory. She is the niece of Mary Hutchinson, the wife of 
William Wordsworth the poet. And she was the god-daughter of 
Dorothy Wordsworth, William's sister. We had some interesting 
talk about the Wordsworth family. She showed me first a large 
brooch she was wearing containing on one side a beautiful coloured 
photograph of the poet, and on the other side two locks of grey 
hair from the heads of the poet and his wife. THs photograph is 
far the best and most pleasing likeness I have seen of the poet It was 
taken from a picture painted by H * almost entirely from memory. 
The poet had written to the painter telling him with pride that he 
had ascended Helvellyn when he was 70 years old, and sending him 
a sonnet on the occasion. The painter was extremely pleased with 
the letter and the sonnet and immediately drew Wordsworth in a 
meditative mood composing the sonnet. 

Miss Hutchinson said that once, when she was staying at tie 
Wordsworths', the poet was much affected by reading in the news- 
paper the death of Hogg the Ettrick Shepherd. Half an hour after- 
wards he came into the room where the ladies were sitting and 
asked Miss Hutchinson to write down some lines which he had just 
* Presumably Haydon. 


composed. She did so, and these lines were the beautiful poem 
called the Graves of the Poets. He was very desultory and disin- 
clined to write. His ladies were always urging him to do so however 
And he would have written little if it had not been for his wife and 
sister. He could not bear the act of writing and he wrote so impati- 
ently and impetuously that his writing was rarely legible. He was 
very absent and has been known to walk unconsciously through 
a flock of sheep without perceiving them. He had many books 
read to him in his later years when his eyesight grew weak. He did 
not care much for society and preferred the society of women to 
that of men. With men he was often reserved. 

When William Howitt was at Rydal Mount looking about after 
Wordsworth's death he fell in with old James the gardener and 
asked him which was the poet's study. 'This,' said James pointing 
to the arbour and the grass mound from which Rydal Mount takes 
its name. William Wordsworth was a tall man. Dorothy was short 
and spare. She was a great walker in her youth and suffered physic- 
ally and mentally as she grew old for having overtaxed her strength 
when she was young with excessively long walks. When she was 
middle aged and growing elderly she thought nothing of walking 
from Brinsop into Hereford, six miles and back, if she wanted a 
thimble. When she was staying at the Hutchinsons* farm in Rad- 
norshire she would walk into Kington and back on the smallest 
excuse. During her imbecility she had frequent intervals when all 
her old brightness, liveliness and clearness of mind returned. Then 
she relapsed into her sad state. She and her brother used often to stay 
at Mrs. Monkhouse's at the Stow farm, Whitney. Dorothy had a 
lucid interval at her brother's death. She was deeply affected at his 
loss, left her room and came to his bedside when he was dying. 

Tuesday, 4 April 

A letter from my mother brings the astonishing news that Mr. 
Ashe wishes to have a stove in Langley Burrell Church, will offer no 
opposition to the gallery being taken down to admit of the stove 
being placed at the West end of the church, and has actually been 
going about the Church to see where additional seats can be con- 
trived. Also he is going to cut down a tree worth .10 and will 
devote the proceeds towards the stove erection. Wonders will never 


l87I ] TOM AND HETTY 117 

Easter Monday, 10 4p7 

After lunch Mrs. Venables came down and asked me to drive to 
Boughrood with her and the Miss Halls. No one was at home at 
Boughrood Castle for which reason Mrs. V. called there, and 
knowing beforehand the reply to the question we could scarcely 
keep our countenances while the servant solemnly asked if Mrs. 
Bold was at home. Mrs. V. said that one afternoon late she drove 
up to the door of Boughrood Castle to call and heard Mrs. Bold's 
voice from an upper window saying aloud, 'I can't think what 
makes people come at this time of day'. 

Friday, 14 April 

In the cross lane below Tybella old deaf Tom Gore was mending 
a ruined dry stone wall. He said he had only one pair of boots in the 
world, they were cracked and full of holes and he had asked in vain 
of the relieving officer to beg the Board of Guardians to give him a 
new pair. He told me his wife was ill and he hoped he should not 
lose her. He remembered what it was after he lost his first wife, 
how he often came home wet through to the skin and no fire and no 
food cooked. Four little children of his lay side by side in Bryngwyn 
Churchyard. He had seen trouble. He didn't know but he thought 
it was a fate. I could scarcely make him understand a word. He 
went on building up his stone wall at half a crown a perch and I 
went on to see his wife. 

Hetty Gore was very indignant with Mainwaring, who keeps a 
school on the Rhos Goch, and removed her children from his school 
because he said that she and three Bryngwyn women ought to be 
and he wished they were hung up all together to balance each other. 
When this neighbourly wish and saying was inquired into and lie 
was asked his reason he said that Hetty Gore was starving him, the 
fact being that she had owed him sixpence for a week. Hannah 
Gore was bom with six fingers on each hand but not with six toes. 
Her feet were all right. The sixth finger was cut orTeach hand. 

Saturday, 15 April 

Last night like a fool I drank strong tea and in consequence I tossed 
from side to side the livelong night and never closed my eyes till 
five o'clock this morning, with the additional comfort of being in a 
frantic state of nervous energy. 

The Miss Halls left the vicarage this morning at 945 to catch the 


10. 1 3 train for Neath. I had promised to go and wish them goodbye 
but when I got to the Vicarage stable yard at n o'clock the carriage 
was gone. William Pugh was chaffcutting in the barn. 'They are 
at Hay by now,* he said consolingly. And I like an idiot thought the 
train went at 11.26. Provoking, vexing. I would have given a 
sovereign to see them and speak to them once more. And 
what must they have thought? That I would not take the trouble to 
come to see them off in spite of my promise. I crossed the lawn, 
seeing Mrs. Venables and the baby in the drawing room. But in 
spite of them how cold blank dull and empty the room looked. 
There was the table at which they used to sit writing letters. Ten 
days ago I scarcely knew of their existence nor cared. And now. 
Mrs, V. said they had left a kind message for me. They were all dis- 
appointed when I did not come in time. I am so vexed. I should 
have loved dearly to take another look at their bonnie faces. 
Especially Kathleen's. How well I remember her standing at the 
head of the grave on Easter Eve and making up the primroses into 
bunches for the primrose cross. Her little foot peeped out from 
under her dress. I thought it was the prettiest foot I ever saw. Then 
there was Church on Good Friday (just as Petrarch first saw Laura 
'in the Cathedral on Good Friday* when and where was 'kindled 
that world-renowned flame'). And there was the drive to Bough- 
rood, the call at Cae Mawr, the dinner party in the evening, and the 
place where she sat by the Maiden's Stile. Ah they are nice sweet 
girls, so natural and genuine, so pleasant and so kind. Well. Well. 
Such is life, comings and goings and meetings and partings. I 
thought I was not going to care for any one again. I wonder if there 
is any receipt for hardening the heart and making it less im- 

I went sadly back to my room, took down and went sorrowfully 
on with my sermon for tomorrow, feeling as if all was dull and 
blank and as if some light and interest had suddenly gone out of life. 
It was pleasant to see Mrs. Nash downstairs again in the cosy little 
warm parlour. I went to read to Sackville Thomas. Being tub night 
Polly with great celerity and satisfaction stripped herself naked to 
her drawers before me and was very anxious to take off her drawers 
too for my benefit, but her grandmother would not allow her. As 
it happened the drawers in question were so inadequately constructed 
that it made uncommonly little difference whether they were off or 

Z 8 7I ] SUNDAY IN MAY 119 

on, and there was a most interesting view from the rear. Then her 
grandmother washed her head with soft soap and hot water in a tub, 
the little image kneeling down in her drawers on the cold stone 
floor with her head in the tub close to the open door into the road. 

Wednesday, 19 April 

Mr. Venables heard this morning from Chelsea Hospital. The 
authorities have granted a pension of ninepence a day to our old 
Peninsular veteran John Morgan of the Bronith with arrears from 
February. Mr. V. went to the old man's house to announce the 
good news. 

Monday, May Day 

Up early, breakfast at 7 and the dog cart took me to the station 
for tie 8 train. It was a lovely May morning, and the beauty of the 
river and green meadows, the woods, hills and blossoming orchards 
was indescribable. At Hereford two women were carrying a Jack 
in the Green about the High Town. In the next carriage a man was 
playing a harp and a girl a violin as the train travelled. At Chippen- 
ham no one was at the station. I left my luggage and walked up to 

Sunday, 7 May 

I went to church early, soon after ten o'clock, across the quiet 
sunny meadows. There was scarcely any one about only one boy 
loitering by the stile in Becks by the road under the elms. The trees 
are in their most exquisite and perfect loveliness. There is usually 
one day in the Spring when the beauty of everything ailminates 
and strikes one peculiarly, even forcing itself upon one's notice and 
a presentiment comes that one will never see such loveliness again at 
least for another year. This is the day that Robert Burns delighted 
in, the first fine Sunday in May. He had a peculiar love for such a 
day as this. The great elms shaded the road from the glowing sun- 
shine and everything was still and beautiful and green. 

I went into the churchyard under the feathering larch which 
sweeps over the gate. The ivy-grown old church with its noble 
tower stood beautiful and silent among the elms with its graves at its 
feet. Everything was still. No one was about or moving and the 
only sound was the singing of birds. The place was all in a charm of 
singing, full of peace and quiet sunshine. It seemed to be given up 
to the birds and their morning hymns. It was the bird church, the 


church among die birds. I wandered round the church among the 
dewy grass-grown graves and picturesque ivy- and moss-hung 
tombstones. Round one grave grew a bed of primroses. Upon 
another tali cowslips hung their heads. 

The hour for service drew on. The clerk coughed in the church. 
Two girls in grey dresses passed quietly through the church and 
moved about among the graves on the N. side bending over a grave 
beneath the elm. Then a woman in deep mourning moved slowly 
down the path of the churchyard, and die clerk began to ring the 
bell for service. My Father read prayers and I preached on the 
Master washing the disciples' feet. 

Monday \ 8 May 

It was very hot this morning, burning hot as I was in the garden 
tying up 3 or 4 dozen lettuces. A cuckoo sat in the broken elm over- 
h'ead, moaning and chuckling and making an odd noise like a dove. 
The two cows stood up to their udders in the pond in the little field 
under the shade of the high hawthorn hedge that almost encircles 
the pond. I took a book to the white gate and stood in the shade 
of the trees reading and watching the people crossing the sunny 
common to and fro by the several paths. 

Tuesday, 9 May 

I went to Hannah HatherelTs. Hannah told me of a dream Jane 
had shordy before she died which comforted her very much. She 
dreamt she saw a man lying down and a snowdrop was growing 
out of his breast. Then she heard a voice saying, "Wash me and I 
shall be whiter than snow*. She thought it was a very comfortable 
dream. Sometimes she had frightful dreams which terrified her. 

Wednesday, 10 May 

Fanny and I walked to Harnish house to dinner at 7.30. After the 
ladies had left die dining room Mr. Winthrop and Mr. Bolden got 
into a warm theological discussion. Mr. Winthrop, anxious to 
refute all High Church arguments and repudiate all High Church 
tendencies, threw over the Church altogether, denied the gift of the 
Holy Spirit at Ordination and Baptism, denied the presence of the 
Saviour with His Ministers, denied everything in short, and there 
was nothing left. He said a man became a clergyman just as he 
became a gardener by taking up that particular line of life. 


Priday, 12 May 

My Mother's birthday. I gave her a travelling brass inkstand. 
Please God that she may long be spared to us. 

[The diarist returns to Clyro.j 

Wednesday, 17 May 

The great May Hiring Fair at Hay, and squadrons of horse came 
charging and battalions of foot tramping along the dusty roads to 
the town, more boys and fewer girls than usual. All day long the 
village has been 'very quiet, empty, most of the village folk being 
away at the fair. Now at 8 p.m. the roads are thronged with people 
pouring home again, one party of three men riding on one horse. 

Sunday, 21 May 

After Church visited some of the cottages. Elizabeth Pugh told 
me that when she was living at Little Pen-y-fForest she used to go 
to the Baptist and Independent Chapels at Painscastle. Stones were 
frequently thrown into the Chapels among the congregation during 
service, and once a dog was hurled in. There was a great laugh 
when the dog was seen flying in. 

Monday, 22 May 

[ The diarist walks to Glascwm.] 

First I went to the Vicarage. A pair of shears lay on the door step 
and a beautiful luxuriant sweet briar 1 climbed a trellis by the door 
and filled the whole porch with fragrance. I met the old Vicar 
magistrate in the hall with his stout frame, ruddy face, white hair, 
stern long sweeping eyebrows and a merry odd twinkle in his eye. 
One of the last of the old-fashioned parsons. He gave me some 
splendid Herefordshire cider and some bread and butter and there 
came in with him a very small black and tan terrier named Ti (or 
Tiger I suppose), a waddling wheezing gasping mass, a ball of fat. 

1 am bishop here,* said the Vicar. Then fetching the church key 
he added, 'Come and see the Cathedral*. 

The Cathedral ky a little distance down a pretty lane overarched 
and avenued with sycamores and limes. It was one of the very large 
Welsh Churchyards, 2 acres in extent and thinly peopled. The 
church long low and whitewashed, an unbroken line of roof with- 
out a tower or bell-turret of any kind. An immense chancel and an 
1 Some pressed leaves of the briar are inserted in the MS. at this point. 

122 KILVERT'S DIARY 'j. Jne 

equally large belfry and a small nave. The belfry is die village school, 
fitted up with desks, forms and master's desk and a fireplace. The 
village clerk is village schoolmaster. In a huge deep Church chest 
were an old parish accounts book, an enormous flagon of pewter 
and pewter paten and a fragment of one of the Church bells. There 
used to be three good bells in Glascwm Church brought by the 
enchanted bisons from Llandewi Brefi. Just before the present Vicar 
came there was a tremendous wedding of a farmer's daughter. There 
was great enthusiasm and excitement and the bells were required to 
ring very loud. One bell did not ring loud enough to satisfy the 
people so they took an axe up to the bell and beat the bell with the 
axe till they beat it all to pieces. 

At the west end of the churchyard almost hidden in trees is the 
Yat, Squire Beavan's house, or as the Squire tries to have it called, 
Glascwm Court. Just outside the churchyard the Beavan family 
have a private burial ground, unconsecrated, where a number of 
them are buried. 

Mr. Marsden entertained me with some reminiscences of his own. 
*A public house in the village, haven't we?* he said. 'We just have, 
and they keep a fearful noise there sometimes. Then I put my head 
out of my bedroom window and holla to them and they fly like the 
wind. When I was curate of Llangorse,* he said, 'the Vicar of 
Talgarth was ill and I had to procure an assistant curate. So I wrote 
to Llewellyn, now Dean of St. David's then Principal of Lampeter 
to send me a man who wanted a ride for orders and could speak 
Welsh and English. Llewellyn wrote that he had the very man for 
me, doctus utriusque linguae. The man came. I saw his Welsh was 
very shaky. 

Once he was publishing Banns. He meant to say, 'Why these 
two persons may not lawfully be joined together in holy Matri- 
mony*. But what he did say was, 'Why these two backsides may 
not lawfully be joined together in Holy Matrimony'. Everyone 
in Church hid their faces. When we came out of Church I said, 
'Well, you have done it now 5 . 'What?' said he. I told him. 'God 
forbid,* said he. *It is true,' I said. 

Wednesday, 24 May 

Dined at Cae Mawr and we had a capital stuffed and roasted pike. 
Baron Meyer Rothschild's Favonius has won the Derby today. 

l871 ] A BUNCH OF FLOWERS 123 

Thursday, 25 May 

Today we read in the paper that the Assembly troops are in 
possession of Paris, but that Paris is on fire, the Communists having 
yesterday drenched with petroleum the Tuileries, the Louvre, 
Notre Dame, the Hotel de Ville and La Sainte Cliapelle and set them 
in flames. When the telegram left Paris at 6.30 last night the Tuileries 
were a heap of ashes, the Louvre not much better and no hope of 
saving anything, the petroleum flames were so furious. 

Saturday, 27 May 

At the top of Jacobs Ladder met Miss Sandell with the Morrell 
children carrying home from their ramble a beautiful rich nosegay 
of wild flowers. They had found the bog bean, the butterwort, 
milk-wort in four varieties, butterfly orchis, mouse ear, marsh 
valentine, marsh buttercup, hawkweed fumitory, yellow pimpernel, 
yellow potentilla. The children showed me what I never found out 
for myself or knew before, that the bog bean grows in the wern 
below Great Gwernfydden. And I have walked 14 miles for that 
flower, when it grew close by. Miss Sandell taught me more about 
these flowers in ten minutes than I have learnt from books in all my 
life. She knows a great deal about flowers. She did not know the 
comfrey or the yellow hill-violet, some of which I promised to bring 
Ler from the Warren Hill today. 

Saturday, z]une 

Mrs. Griffiths told me that a few days ago a man named Evans 
kicked his wife to death at Rhulen. He lacked her bosom black 
and her breasts mortified. 

Monday, 12 June 

At i o'clock I started with my Father for North Wales. Just 
before we reached Barmouth Junction the train was hailed and 
pulled up and a party of people came tumbling into our carriage. 
It was Strong, Mary and Freddy and two Misses Davies. They 
were staying at Barmouth and had been out into the country to 
visit a friend who had influence enough to hail the train as if it were 
an omnibus and pull it up for them. From Barmouth Junction 
leaving the sea we travelled up the beautiful valley to Dolgelly 


beside the noble estuary of the Mawddach, mountains standing 
close on either side of the river. 

We drove to Miss Roberts' Hotel, the Golden Lion. 'Did you had 
your luggage?' asked the omnibus driver. I was very much struck 
and taken with the waitress at the Golden Lion. She said her name 
was Jane Williams and that her home was at Bettws y Coed, She 
was a beautiful girl with blue eyes, eyes singularly lovely, the 
sweetest saddest most weary and most patient eyes I ever saw. It 
seemed as if she had a great sorrow in her heart. Into the soup the 
cook had upset both the salt cellar and the pepper box. After dinner 
we went out and strolled round the town. WombwelTs menagerie 
had just come in and town was all alive and swarming with people. 
The caravans were drawn up in the 'Marian Mawr*, the marshy 
meadow at the back of the Hotel just outside the Golden Lion 
garden. It seemed so strange to hear the little children chattering 
Welsh. I have always had a vision of coming into a Welsh town 
about sunset and seeing the children playing on the bridge and this 
evening the dream came true. 

Tuesday , 15 June 

Up at 5.30. Not a soul stirring in the house, the front door 
locked and the key gone. I got out by the garden door and through 
the wicket into the Marian Mawr. There was the caravan. The 
people were all asleep, but the lions were rustling and growling 
about their dens hungry for breakfast. The caravans were full of 
strange noises of the different beasts. I knocked at the lions' door 
and at the door of the ostriches, gnus and antelopes, eliciting divers 
roars, groans, howls, hoots and grunts. In the town I met the guide, 
old Pugh, coming to meet me. He took me to his house and fur- 
nished me with an alpenstock while his good wife gave me some 
tea and bread and butter for I could get nothing at the inn. 

As we went towards the mountain my old guide told me how 
Mr. Smith (Tom Colborne's clerk at Newport), was lost on Cader 
Idris some 6 years ago. He was on a tour in N. Wales, walking with 
his knapsack and had come to Machynlleth. He wanted the guide 
on the Machynlleth side to go over the mountain with him and 
offered him 2/6. The guide refused, saying his fee to go to the top 
of the mountain was 5/- and if he went on down the other side it 
was io/-. Moreover the guide strongly advised Mr. Smith not to 


attempt the ascent alone that evening, for night would soon fall 
and the weather was bad. However Mr. Smith persisted in going 
on and the guide went a little way with him to put him in the 
right road. Two days after this guide was in Dolgelly and meeting 
my guide, old Pugh, he asked if he had seen anything of the gentle- 
man who had crossed the Cader from Machynlleth to Dolgelly 
two days before. Pugh said he had neither seen nor heard any- 
thing of him although he had been up Cader Idris twice that day, 
one time being late in the evening. So they supposed Mr. Smith 
had changed his mind and had gone down from the top of the 
mountain to Towyn. But 6 weeks passed. Nothing was 
heard of him and his wife grew very uneasy. His brother came 
to Machynlleth, Towyn, and Dolgelly to make inquiries but could 
hear nothing, and the mountain was searched without result. Mr. 
Smith disappeared in September, and in the following May a man was 
up on Cader Idris looking for a quarry. He heard his dog bark 
suddenly and looking over a precipice he saw a dead body. He 
hurried back to Dolgelly and fetched a doctor and policeman and 
the coroner, and Pugh came along with them. When the body 
was turned over Pugh was horrified. He said he never saw such 
a sight and he hoped he should never see such another. It was what 
had been Mr. Smith. It was a skeleton in clothes. The foxes and 
ravens had eaten him. His eyes were gone. His teeth were dashed 
out by the fall and lay scattered about the mountain. His head was 
bent double under him and crushed into his chest so that his neck 
was broken. The only piece of flesh remaining on the bone was 
where the coat buttoned over the chest. One leg was gone and one 
boot. Pugh looked up and saw something white lying on a ledge 
above where the body lay. It was his knapsack. When it was 
brought down there were his things, his papers, his money. Then 
his stick was found. And some months afterwards Pugh found his 
hat. Pugh said he had probably tried to come down a short way 
to Dolgelly and must have fallen down a precipice in the mist and 
growing darkness. He showed me the place where the body was 
found. He found the marks the body had made in falling and knew 
exactly the point it had fallen from. He had carefully measured the 
distance and declared the body must have fallen 440 yards. 

My old guide comes of a family ofWelsh harpers. His brother is 
now harper to [ ] SirWatkin's sister. Another brother 


who is dead won a silver harp at an Eisteddfod and was one of the 
best harpers in Wales. Pugh said there was a harper at Corwen and 
another at Llangollen and he knew an old bard at Corwen. He told 
me he had once been up Cader Idris 4 times in one day for a /IQ 
wager against a reading party of 4 or 5 Cambridge men who 
declared he could not do it. On the last day of September a pouring 
wet day he did it and won the wager easily. He could have gone 
up the 5th time. A man on each side was posted on the top of the 
mountain and a man on each side at the bottom to see fair plav and 
that Pugh did not ride up. It was stipulated that he should go up 
by the pony road and come down any way he liked. Corning 
down the first time he nearly came to trouble and was delayed 20 
minutes in this way. He had noticed often when on the mountain 
that at a particular place his dog usually put up a fox and that the fox 
always disappeared down a cleft in the rocks. When walking for 
the wager he thought of this fox path and thought it w r ould take 
him down quicker. Supposing that he could go where a fox went 
he slid down the narrow chasm and found that it led to the brink 
of a precipice. He could not go back and he was obliged to go on so 
taking oft his boots and slinging them round his neck he clam- 
bered down. He did not try that way again. 

By this time we had come to a place where was a lake by the 
roadside and in a boat on the lake were two men fishing. Leaving 
the road here we turned up a rough lane and crossing a little brook 
by a farm house were on the open mountain. As we sloped up the 
mountain side we had beautiful views of the Harlech mountains 
opposite, blue Cardigan Bay and dim Snowdon. The zig-zag path 
was steep in parts and a great wind blew over the mountain so that 
I had to sit down in a sheltered place and tie the band of my hat to 
my button-hole with the old guide's neckerchief, for, said the old 
man, 'Many hats have been lost on this ridge'. We aimed for a great 
stone on the top of the first ridge. After this the climbing was not 
so severe. The old man came up very slowly. Soon after we passed 
the great stone we passed through a gateway the posts of which 
were large basaltic pillars. Here we* saw a mountain standing 
apparently close by waiting upon Cader Idris. It was Plynlimmon. 
Here we passed round over the back of the mountain and began 
ascending the summit from the S. We came to a little round pool 
or rather hole full of water. The old man pulled a little tumbler 


out of his pocket rinsed it and gave me a glass of the clear bright 
water. It was delicious. Then he drank himself. He said the pool 
was the head water or spring of the Dysyni River. He had never 
known it dry in the driest summers. We saw from the spring the 
winding gleam of the Dysyni wandering down a desolate valley to 
join the Dyfi, its sister stream. 

About this time the wind changed and flew suddenly round into 
the S. The head of Idris, which had been cowled in cloud, had 
cleared for a while, but now an impenetrable dark cloud settled 
down upon it and the mist came creeping down the mountain. 
The sky looked black and threatened rain. Now there lay before 
us vast tracts and belts of large stones lying so dose together that 
no turf could be seen and no grass could grow between them. It 
\vas broken basalt, and huge lengths of basalt, angled, and some 
hexagonal, lay about or jutted from the mountain side like enor- 
mous balks of timber and with an unknown length buried in the 
mountain. We passed quarries where some of the great columns 
had been dug out to be drawn down the mountain on sledges. 
Cader Idris is the stoniest, dreariest, most desolate mountain I was 
ever on. We came now to the edge of a vast gulf or chasm or 
bason almost entirely surrounded by black precipices rising from 
the waters of a small black tarn which lay in the bottom of the 
bason. Here the guide showed me the place at the foot of an 
opposite precipice where Mr. Smith's body had been found. Then 
we stumbled and struggled on again over rough tracts and wilder- 
nesses of slate and basalt. The sun was shining on the hills below, 
but the mist crawled down and wrapped us as if in a shroud blotting 
out everything. The mists and clouds began to sweep by us in 
white thin ghostly sheets as if some great dread Presences and 
Powers were going past and we could only see the skirts of their 
white garments. The air grew damp and chill, the cloud broke 
on the mountain top and it began to ram. Now and then we 
could discern the black sharp peak which forms the summit looming 
large and dark through the cloud and rain and white wild driving 
mist, and it was hidden again. It is an awful place in a storm. I 
thought of Moses on Sinai. 

The rain grew heavier. The old guide could not get on very fast 
and told me to go on alone to the top and shelter in the hut as 
I could not miss the path. So I went on up the last sharp peak 

128 KILVERT'S DIARY [j wft(? 

looming black through the dark mist and cloud, by a winding 
path among the great rocks and wildernesses of loose stone. For 
a few minutes I was alone on the top of the mountain. The thought 
struck me, suppose the old man should be seized with cramp in the 
stomach here, how in the world should I get him down or get 
down myself in the blinding mist? The cloud and mist and rain 
swept by and drove eddying round the peak. I could hear the old 
man chinking his iron-shod staff among the rocks and stones, as he 
came up the path, nearer and nearer, but till he got close to me 1 
could not discern his white figure through the dense mist. 'This is 
the highest point of Cader Idris, he said, laying his hand upon a peak 
of wet living rock, 'not that', looking with contempt at the great 
conical pile of stones built upon the peak by the sappers and miners 
during the Ordnance Survey. He said, 'The Captain of the survey- 
ing company had his tent pitched on the top of Cader Idris for 
3 summer months and never left the place. He had 1 8 men to wait 
upon him. And how many clear views do you think he got in 
that timer 'Twelve', I hazarded. 'Nine', he said. 

He took me down to a rude 2-roomed hut built of huge stones 
by his father just under the shelter of the peak, and produced for 
my benefit a hard-boiled egg and some slices of bread and butter. 
Also he gave me a woollen comforter to wrap round my neck. 
Then he vanished. The mist drove in white sheets and shapes past 
the doorless doorway and past the windows from which the 
window frames had been removed and the wind whistled through 
the chinks in the rude walls of huge stones. A large fiat block of 
stone in the middle of the room on which I sat formed the table. 
It is said that if any one spends a night alone on the top of Cader 
Idris he will be found in the morning either dead or a madman or 
a poet gifted with the highest degree of inspiration. Hence Mrs. 
Hemans* fine song 'A night upon Cader Idris'. The same thing is 
said of the top of Snowdon and of a great stone at the foot of 
Snowdon. Old Pugh says the fairies used to dance near the top 
of the mountain and he knows people who have seen them. 

Presently I heard the old man clinking his stick among the rocks 
and coming round the hut. He came in and lighted his pipe and 
we prepared to go down by the 'Foxes' Path'. And indeed it was 
a path fit only for foxes. After leading me a few steps he began to 
go over what seemed to me to be the edge of a precipice, depth 


unknown and hidden in the mist. The side of the mountain was 
frightfully steep here and required great care in going down. 
Suddenly the old man stopped at a beautiful little spring in the 
almost perpendicular bank, pulled out his tumbler and gave nie 
a draught of the clear sparkling water, much colder than the water 
from the spring of Dysyni. About the spring the grass grew 
brilliant green and there was a long winding riband of bright green 
where the waters overflowing from the spring trickled down through 
the grass stems to feed the lake at which the foxes drink just below. 
Next we came to a broad belt of loose rocks lying close together 
which the guide cautioned me to beware of and not without reason 
saying they were as slippery as glass and that a sprained ancle was 
an awkward thing on the mountain. Down, down and out of the 
cloud into sunshine, all the hills below and the valleys were bathed 
in glorious sunshine a wonderful and dazzling sight. Above and 
hanging overhead the vast black precipices towered and loomed 
through the clouds, and fast as we went down the mist followed 
faster and presently all the lovely sunny landscape was shrouded 
in a white winding sheet of rain. The path was all loose shale and 
stone and so steep that planting our alpenstocks from behind and 
4 leaning back upon them Alpine fashion we glissaded with a general 
landslip, rush and rattle of shale and shingle down to the shore of 
the Foxes' Lake. The parsley fern grew in sheets of brilliant green 
among the grey shale and in the descent we passed the largest 
basaltic columns of all protruding from the mountain side. In the 
clefts and angles of the huge grey tower columns grew beautiful 
tufts and bunches of parsley fern. We passed another lake and after 
some rough scrambling walking over broken ground at the moun- 
tain foot we came back into the turnpike road at the lake that we 
had passed in the morning. As we entered Dolgelly the old man 
said, 'You're a splendid walker, Sir', a compliment which procured 
him a glass of brandy and water. 

[The diarist and his father continue their tour.] 

Friday, i6June 

As we crossed the bridge [at Bangor] and were approaching the 
Anglesey shore we overtook a quaint humorous old man ^with 
a tall white hat, a merry twinkle in his eye, and a huge cancer in his 


face. I fell into talk with him. 'Now*, he said as we left the Bridge 
and walked into Anglesey, 'now you are like Robinson Crusoe, you 
are on your island. How should you like to live in that house all 
the year round, winter and summer:' he said pointing to a white 
house on a little rock island in the straits. I said I thought there 
might be w r orse places. 'They live like fighting cocks there', 
winked the old man with the merry twinkle in his eye and his tall 
white hat nodding from side to side. 'They have got a weir there and 
they catch all the fish.' 

At 6 o'clock we left Chester for Llangollen. We walked up 
through the town to the Hand Hotel, stopping a moment on the 
fine quaint old grey stone bridge of Dee with its sharp angled 
recesses, to look down into the clear rocky swift winding river, so 
like the Wye. As we came near the Hand we heard the strains of 
a Welsh harp, the first Iver heard. The harper was playing in the 
hall the air 'Jenny Jones'. I would have come all the way to Llan- 
gollen on purpose to hear the Welsh harp. This is the only hotel 
in Wales where a Welsh harper can be heard. I stood by him 
entranced while he played Llwyn-on and the Roaring of the Valley, 
and several of the other guests in the house gathered round the harp 
in the corner of the hall. The harper was a cripple and his crutch 
rested by his side against a chair. He was a beautiful performer and 
he was playing on a handsome harp of sycamore and ash, which he 
had won as a prize at an Eisteddfod. I had a good deal of talk with 
him after he had done playing. He told me there were very few 
people now who could play the Welsh harp, and the instrument 
was fast going out of use. The young people learn the English harp 
which is much easier being double stringed instead of treble stringed. 
The Welsh harp has no silver string and it is played from the 
left shoulder while the English harp is played from the right 
shoulder. SirWatkin keeps no harper. His sister does, and her 
harper is the brother of old Pugh of Dolgelly who took me up 
Cader Idris. The Llangollen harper said he knew him and thought 
him a good harper, but his brother whom he also knew and who 
is dead was much better, the first harper in Wales. 

Presently the harper covered his harp and limped away to his 
own house in the town, saying he should come and pky again at 
9 o'clock. He plays in the haU at several stated hours every day. 
He gets nothing from the Hotel and subsists entirely on what 

, 87I ] AN ANGEL SATYR. 131 

visitors give him. At 9 o'clock he came again and played while we 
were at supper. It was a great and strange delight to listen to the 
music of this Welsh harp. The house was full of the melody of the 
beautiful Welsh airs. No wonder when the evil spirit was upon 
Saul and when David played upon the harp, that Saul was .refreshed 
and was well and that the evil spirit departed from him. 

Meantime we walked down to the gardens belonging to the Hotel 
on the other side of the road, and sat on the garden seat and river 
wall watching 'the cataract flashing from the bridge' and the quiet 
stream and pools below the fall dark under the trees opposite and 
dimpling with the rising of innumerable fish, in the warm damp 
evening. My Father took a fancy to throw a fly, so I got a rod for 
him from the billiard marker and he fished till supper time. 

After supper I was going to my room to fetch my hat for a stroll 
and forgot my number. Going to the door which I thought was 
mine I took the precaution to knock before opening and was 
answered by a man's voice, coming to the door. Turning in the 
dark passage to escape I stumbled over two pair of boots and found 
I was invading a room where a man had retired to bed with his wife. 

We walked up and down before the Hotel laughing over this 
adventure and three of the pretty saucy girls of Llangollen were 
driving each other about in a wheelbarrow. 

[The diarist returns to Clyro.] 

Monday, igjtme 

Palmer, the new Cae Mawr gardener, and his wife have moved 
down from the Vineyards Cottage to the Old Mill. Mrs. Palmer 
could not bear the Vineyards. She said it was so lonely. MissBynon, 
to whom the cottage belongs, took great exception to Mrs. Palmer 
and the fault she found with the cottage. 'Lonely indeed! What 
does the lady on the hill want?' asked Miss Bynon. 'She can see my 

Tuesday, 20 June 
An angel satyr walks these hills. 

Wednesday, 28 June 

I went to the Walls' new farm house where they have been settled 
a week. The two nice girls Lucretia and Eliza were at home and 

I 3 2 KILVERT'S DIARY [j w ty 

quite unspoilt by the Bristol school and as simple and nice as ever. 
Their mother was gone to Hereford to buy furniture for the new 
house, but their father came in from the farm. Pretty Lucretia was 
burning to show me over the new house and do the honours. The 
father and children took me all over the new house. Lucretia 
showed me her bed, a French bed, blue and gold, the prettiest piece 
of furniture I saw. Wall pointed out to me with satisfaction the 
door with a lock which separated the sleeping rooms of the servant 
boys and girls. 

Thursday, 29 June 

Annie Corfield is better but we fear that she and her sisters, the 
twins Phoebe and Lizzie, are very miserable and badly treated by 
their father since their dear mother's death. What would she say if 
she could see them now, ragged, dirty, thin and half-clad and 
hungry? How unkindly their father uses them. The neighbours 
hear the sound of the whip on their naked flesh and the poor girls 
crying and screaming sadly sometimes when their father comes 
home late at night. It seems that when he comes home late he 
makes the girls get out of bed and strip themselves naked and then 
he flogs them severely or else he pulls the bedclothes off them and 
whips them all three as they lie in bed together writhing and scream- 
ing under the castigation. It is said that sometimes Corfield strips 
the poor girls naked holds them face downwards across his knees on 
a bed or chair and whips their bare bottoms so cruelly that the blood 
runs down their legs. 

Tuesday, 4 July 

Hannah Jones told me about the madwoman of Cwmgwanon. 
They keep her locked up in a bedioom alone, for she will come down 
amongst them stark naked. She has broken the window and all the 
crockery in the room, amuses herself by dancing naked round the 
room and threatens to wring her daughter-in-law's neck. Then she 
will set to and roar till they can hear her down the dingle at John 
Williams's house, nearly half a mile. 

Wednesday, 5 July 

This morning Edward Morgan of Cwmpelved Green brought 
his concubine to Church and married her. She was a girl of 19, 


rather nice looking and seemed quiet and modest. She had a pretty 
bridesmaid and they were both nicely prettily dressed in lilac and 
white. After the ceremony I saw the stout dwarf Anne Beavan 
pinning on bright nosegays. 

Friday, 7 July 

As I was sitting in my room reading this afternoon with the tabby 
cat Toby sitting in the back of the easy chair just above my shoulder 
and her white tortoiseshell kitten sitting at my feet, who should 
walk in but Teddy Bevan. He had come over on his donkey with 
a note from Mrs. Bevan and was enchanted with my cats and our 
happy family appearance. 

I went up the Bird's Nest dingle railing at Bowen's and old 
Meredith's and Richard Jones' and then across the wern to Cross 
Foot where Mrs.Watkins told me the scandal about the daughter of 
Shene of the Lane Farm and the child found dead in the water closet 
at the Three Cocks Station. 

Sunday, 9 July 

April Storms. Shower and shine chasing each other swiftly. 
The little clerk coming down the road in his mackintosh cape to 
chime the bells at 9 o'clock. The galloping and pattering up and 
down the passage. The old cat bringing in a young blackbird dead 
for the kitten. The red roses in the garden bright against the sunny 
light blue mountains. Mr. Venables preached morning and evening 
and I was glad to go to Bettws. 

It was sultry hot climbing the hill though there was the blowing 
of a wind from the west. In the Chapel field the tali brown and 
purple grasses were all in billows hike the sea, as the wind coursed 
over the hill driving one billow after another, sheen and dusk, up 
against the Chapel wall. And the Chapel in the grass looked like a 
house founded upon a rock in the midst of a billowy sea. 

How quiet and sunny and lovely the village was this evening as 
I went to the Vicarage to dinner. There was not a person in the 
roads or moving anywhere. The only living creature I saw was a 
dog. An intense feeling and perception of the extraordinary beauty 
of the place grew upon me in the silence as I passed through the still 
sunny churchyard and saw the mountains through the trees rising 
over the school, and looked back at the church and the churchyard 

154 KILVERT'S DIARY r 7.,-. 

ij a */ 

through die green arches of the wych elms. Then the glowing roses 
of the Vicarage lawn and the blue mountains beyond broken bv the 
dark Castle Clomp. 

Wednesday i 12 July 

There came begging through the village today three girls 
tall dressed in ragged black with naked legs and feet. The eldest was a 
straight girl with a profusion of curling chestnut hair. The second 
girl was slighter. Her tattered bkck frock hardly covered her knees, 
her delicate beautiful slender limbs were bare and whiter by con- 
trast with her bkck dress, and her pretty white feet small and shapely 
were bruised and worn with travel. 

Thursday, 13 July 

As 1 sat at breakfast I heard the drone of bagpipes. A man was 
playing at the New Inn. He came playing down the road and 
stopped in front of the forge droning on while the blacksmith'? 
children danced before him. He could not complain that he had 
piped to the Clyro children and they had not danced. He was a 
wild swarthy Italian-looking man, young, with a steeple-crowned 
hat, and full of uncouth cries and strange outland words. He moved 
on from the forge to the inn still playing while the children still 
danced before him. I could see the group through the screen of 

Poor Captain Brown used to say he could go anywhere and do 
anything under the influence of the bagpipes. It seems to me that 
1 could go anywhere and do anything to get out of the sound of 
them. He found them warlike, exciting, inspiriting. I find them 
intolerable. A droning wailing whine, no tune. I had far rather 
go into battle to the sound of a barrel organ. 

Friday, 14 July, St. Swithins Eve 

I went to Hereford to see the dentist McAdam. He showed me 
the apparatus for giving people the new anaesthetic laughing gas 
which he thinks much safer than chloroform, indeed quite safe. In 
the street two or three French or Italian boys were singing the 
Marseillaise to a beautiful harp and violin accompaniment. The 
afternoon became lovely, very hot, and being early for the 3.15 
return train I strolled across the meadows near tie Moorfields 
Station. I got out at Whitney and went to the Rectory. I dined 
with the girls and their father. He told me of the sermons which 


old Mr. Thomas the Vicar of Disserth used to preach as they were 
described to him by the Venables. He would get up in the pulpit 
without an idea about what he was going to say, and would begin 
thus. 'Ha, yes, here we are. And it is a fine day. I congratulate you 
on the fine day, and glad to see so many of you here. Yes indeed. 
Ha, yes, very well. Now then I shall take for my text so and so. 
Yes. Let me see. You are all sinners and so am I. Yes indeed.' 
Sometimes he would preach about 'Mi. Noe'. 'Mr. Noe, he did go 
on with the ark, thump, thump, thump. And the wicked 
fellows did come and say to him "Now, Mr. Noe, don't go 
on there, thump, thump, thump, come and have a pint of ale at tie 
Red Lion. There is capital ale at the Red Lion, Mr. Noe." For Mr. 
Noe was situated just as we are here, there was the Red Lion close 
by the ark, just round the corner. Yes indeed. But Mr. Noe he 
would not hearken to them, and he went on thump, thump, thump. 
Then another idle fellow would say, "Come Mr. Noe the hounds 
are running capital, yes indeed. Don't go on there thump, thump, 
thump." But Mr. Noe he did never heed them, he just went on 
with his ark, thump, thump, thump/ 

Miss E. Hutchinson had sent to Whitney for me to keep for my 
very own a relic very precious to me, a little poem of her aunt 
Dorothy Wordsworth in her own handwriting. 

Tuesday, iBJuly 

I went to Wern Vawr. The sun burnt fiercely as I climbed the 
hills but a little breeze crept about the hill tops. Some barbarian 
a dissenter no doubt probably a Baptist, has cut down the beauti- 
ful silver birches on the Little Mountain near Cefh y Fedwas. 

Wednesday, 19 July 

After morning school I went to Cae Mawr and Mrs. Morrell 
told me about the picnic at the Nydd yesterday. At luncheon Mr, 
de Winton the host said to one of his guests, Lknthomas, 'Thomas, 
you'll be sick*. 'Why?' 'Because you eat so much.' When the tipsy 
cake came round Lknthomas said viciously, 'We call this tipsy 
squire.' 'That'll do for you then/ retorted the host. 'No/ said the 
guest meaningly, 'I never get drunk/ These were some of the 

Saturday, 22 July 
I went up to Cross Foot, turned down the farm lane to the huge 

I3 6 KILVERT'S DIARY y u i y 

Gospel Oak which overshadows the farm, and across the meadow to 
the beautiful green lane which leads down to Cwmpelved and 
Cwmpelved Green. At Cwmpelved Green the low garden wail 
was flaming with nasturtiums which had clambered over it from 
the garden. Their luxuriant growth had almost smothered the 
gooseberry trees under the wall. Along the narrow garden border 
nodded a brilliant row of gigantic sweet williams. 

Within the cottage sat old Richard Clark and the pretty girl 
lately Edward Morgan's concubine, now happily his wife. I had 
thought Edward Morgan had a comfortless, miserable home. I 
was never more mistaken or surprised. The cottage was exquisitely 
clean and neat, with a bright blue cheerful paper and almost prettily 
furnished. A vase of bright fresh flowers stood upon each table and 
I could have eaten my dinner off every stone of the floor. The girl 
said no one ever came near the house to see it, and she kept it as 
clean and neat and pretty as she could for her own satisfaction. The 
oven door was screened from view by a little curtain and every- 
thing was made the most and best of. I don't wonder Edward 
Morgan married the girl. It was not her fault that they were not 
married before. She begged and prayed her lover to marry her 
before he seduced her and afterwards. She was very staunch and 
faithful to him when she was his mistress and I believe she will 
make him a good wife. She was ironing when I came in and when I 
began to read to old Clark she took her work and sat down quietly 
to sew. When I had done reading she had me into the garden and 
shewed me her flowers with which she had taken some pains for 
she was very fond of them. No one ever came to see her garden or 
her flowers she said. The only people she ever saw passing were the 
people from the farm (the Upper Bettws where her husband works). 
They come on Market days along a footpath through the field 
before the house. The girl spoke quietly and rather mournfully 
and there was a shade of gentle melancholy in her voice and manner. 
I was deeply touched by all that I saw and heard. With a kind 
carefulness she put me into the footpath to the Upper Bettws farm, 
which passes by the solitary barn and over the lofty bridge across 
the brook and deep dingle. Miss Allen was at home and kindly 
brought me some cider. Sitting in the window seat she told me of 
the almost sudden death after three days' illness of the daughter of 
Mrs. Davies of the Pentre aged 17 inflammation of the bowels. 


I went on up to Pentwyn Forge and had a long cliat with Mrs. 
Nott the blacksmith's wife. She told me her next door neighbour 
Mrs. Williams was *a wicked woman' and prostituted herself to her 
lodgers, while her husband as bad as herself took the money and 
asked no questions. 

Mrs. Nott told me that Louie of the Cloggau was staying in 
Presteign with her aunt Miss Sylvester, the woman frog. This 
extraordinary being is partly a woman and partly a frog. Her 
head and face, her eyes and mouth are those of a frog, and she has a 
frog's legs and feet. She cannot walk but she hops. She wears very 
long dresses to cover and conceal her feet which are shod with 
something like a cow's hoof. She never goes out except to the 
Primitive Methodist Chapel. Mrs. Nott said she had seen this 
person's frog feet and had seen her in Presteign hopping to and 
from the Chapel exactly like a frog. She had never seen her hands. 
She is a very good person. The story about this unfortunate being 
is as follows. Shortly before she was born a woman came begging 
to her mother's door with two or three little children. Her mother 
was angry and ordered the woman away. 'Get away wich your 
young frogs, 1 she said. And the child she was expecting was born 
partly in the form of a frog, as a punishment and a curse upon her. 

Sunday, 23 July 

This morning Mr. Bevan went up to the Volunteer Camp above 
Taigarth, on the high common under the Black Mountain. He is 
Chaplain to the Forces and attended to hold an open air service and 
preach a sermon to the Volunteers. When the Chaplain arrived on 
the Common, the Builth Volunteers were already well drunk. 
They were dismissed from the ranks but they fought. about the 
common during the whole service. The officers and the other corps 
were "bitterly ashamed and scandalized. 

Thursday, 2jjuly 

In the afternoon I took the old soldier the first instalment of his 
pension, .804 for half a year. Mr. Venables has got the pen- 
sion for him at last after a long correspondence with the War 
Office. The old soldier told me some of his reminiscences. In the 
Battle of Vittoria as they were rushing into action his front rank 
man, a big burly fellow, was swearing that 'There wasn't a bloody 
Frenchman who had seen the bullet yet which should strike him'. 


A few minutes after he was shot dead. After the battle when old 
Morgan was shaking out his blanket to wrap himself up at ni<?ht in 
the bivouac he shook three or four bullets out of it, and one ball 
had gone through his cap, so close as almost to graze his head. 

Friday, 28 July 

Gipsy Lizzie was at the School. Again I am under the influence 
of that child's extraordinary beauty. When she is reading and her 
eyes are bent down upon her book her loveliness is indescribable. 

Sunday, 30 July 

I lay awake sleepless almost all night and had a vision of myself 
as Vicar of Builth, to the accompaniment of the rushing and roaring 
of torrents of rain. 

[ On the next day the diarist leaves Ciyro for a holiday.] 

Wednesday, 23 August 

*It began with a lass and it will end with a lass/ 

In the evening before sunset while the sun was yet warm and 
bright I went across the golden common and meadow to the Three 
Firs to call on Hannah Britton. I had not been long in the house 
when Hannah's beautiful seven year old child Carrie graduallv stole 
up to me and nestled close in my arms. Then she laid her warm 
temples and soft round cheek lovingly to mine and stole first one 
arm then the other round my neck. Her arms tightened round mv 
neck and she pressed her face closer and closer to mine, kissing me 
again and again. Then came the old, old story, the sweet confession 
as old as human hearts, *I do love you so. Do you love me?' 'Yes/ 
said the child, lovingly clinging still closer with fresh caresses and 
endearments. 'You little bundle/ said her mother laughing and 
much amused. 1 wish I could take you with me/ 'You would 
soon grow tired of her/ said her mother. 'No', said die child with 
the perfect trust and confidence of love, 'he said he wouldn't/ An 
hour flew like a few seconds. I was in heaven. A lodger came in 
and sat down, but I was lost to everything but love and the embrace 
and the sweet kisses and caresses of the child. It seemed as if we could 
not part we loved each other so. At last it grew dusk and with one 
long loving clasp and kiss I reluctantly rose to go. It was hard to 
leave the child. When I went away she brought me the best flower 
she could find in the garden. I am exhausted with emotion. 


Thursday, 24 August, St. Bartholomew $ Day 
Edward Awdry walked up with us to Easton Pierse, by die old 
paths which I used to travel and which seemed so familiar to me. 
From the meadows above Lower Easton we caught the first glimpse 
of the grey gables. The old manor house has fallen into sad ruin 
since I used to come here to see old Mrs. Buckland seven years ago. 
The great hall and the grand staircase both gone. All the back of 
the house tottering and the tall carved chimney stack trembling to 
its fall. From the huge oak beam which runs across and supports the 
vast ruined kitchen chimney, we stripped off large pieces of the 
bark which had never been removed and which looked as fresh as 
when the beam was placed there, perhaps hundreds of years ago. 
The house seemed empty and deserted. Heaps of stone and rubbish 
lay round the yards. The orchards were tangled and overgrown, 
the garden run wild with weeds, rank and neglected. Pink stone- 
crop and some straggling Virginia Stock ran over the heaps of waste 
and rubbish stone. There was not a sound or sign of life or living 
thing about the ruinous deserted place. Nothing but silence and 
desolation. A shepherd lives in a part of the house which still stands 
but as the staircase has fallen he is obliged to go out of doors and 
across a rude scaffolding stage before he can reach his bedroom. 

Saturday, 26 August 
I left Langley for Clyro. 

Thursday, September Eve 

I went up to Lower Cwmgwanon to see the old madwoman Mrs. 
Watkins. Her son was out in the harvest field earning oats, and I 
had to wait till he came in to go upstairs with me While I waited 
in the kitchen the low deep voice upstairs began calling, 'Murder! 
John Lloyd! John Lloyd! Murder!' 

The madwoman's son, a burly tall good-humoured man with a 
pleasant face, came to the garden gate and thought I could not do 
any good by seeing his mother. So I went away. But when I had 
got halfway down the meadow Cwmside on my way to the Burnt 
House he shouted to me to come back and asked me to go up and 
see her. He led the way up the broad oak staircase into a fetid room 
darkened. The window was blocked up with stools and chairs to 
prevent the poor mad creature from throwing herself out. She had 
broken all the window glass and all the crockery. There was nothing 


in the room but her bed and a chair. She lay with the blanket over 
her head. When her son turned the blanket down I was almost 
frightened. It was a mad skeleton with such a wild scared animal's 
face as I never saw before. Her dark hair was tossed weird and un- 
kempc, and she stared at me like a wild beast. But she began directlv 
to talk rationally though her mind wandered at moments. I tried 
to bring some serious thoughts back to her mind. 'Whom do you 
pray to when you say your prayers?' 'Mr. Venables.' It was 'the 
dim lingering idea of someone in authority. I repeated the Lord's 
Prayer and the old familiar w r ords seemed to come back to her bv 
degrees till she could say it alone. When I went away she besought 
me earnestly to come again. 'You'll promise to come again now. 
You'll promise, 5 she said eagerly. 

I went to the Homme where John Meredith's sister has been 
taken in a very queer way and seems to have gone out of her mind. 

Friday, September Day 

I dined at Hay Castle. The Fanshawes were staying in the house. 
Last night Arthur Crichton amused them all after dinner by dressing, 
acting and singing 'The Grecian Bend'. While his brother and sister- 
in-law were away he amused himself with cutting down the trees 
at Wye ClifFby bed candle light. 

Sunday, 3 September 

I went to Bettws in light rain and preached extempore on the 
Good Samaritan from the Gospel for the day. A red cow with a 
foolish white face came up to the window by the desk and stared in 
while I was preaching. 
Tuesday, 5 September 

The day was lovely and I went over to Newchurch. A solitary 
fern cutter was at work on the Vicar's Hill mowing the fern with a 
sharp harsh ripping sound. From the Little Mountain the view was 
superb and the air exquisitely clear. The Glee Hills seemed marvel- 
lously near. The land glittered, variegated with colours and gleams 
of wheat, stubble and blue hill. The yellow potentilla jewelled the 
turf with its tiny gems of gold and the frail harebell trembled blue 
among the fern tipped here and there with autumn yellow. The 
little lonely tree bowed on the mountain brow, and below lay the 
tiny village deep in the valley among the trees embosoming the 
little church with its blue spire and Emmeline's grave. 


Friday, 8 September 

Perhaps this may be a memorable day in my life. 

At 2 o'clock I walked to Llan Thomas. A gentleman was carrying 
chairs out of the house on to the lawn, a stranger to me, deeply 
sunburnt, but I soon recognized him as Lechmere Thomas, the 
Ceylon coffee-planter, from his likeness to Henry and Charlie. It 
was some time before the party began to arrive. The 3 Crichtons, 
2 Miss Baskervilles and Miss Howard, Col Balmayne and his niece 
Miss Baldwin, Mr. and Mrs.Webb and 2 Miss Estcourts of Glouces- 
tershire, Tom Williams and Pcpe. 

Some played croquet. Some went to archery. There were two 
croquet games going. I played with Daisy and a Miss Estcourt 
against Miss Baldwin, Tom Williams and Mrs. and Major Thomas 
alternately. Daisy was very kind and charming, just home from 
school for good, she said. I sat next her at supper at the bottom of 
the side table in the window and we were very merry. Her father 
wanted me to sit elsewhere, but she overruled him, saved my place, 
and kept me by her. I was telling her about Alice Davies of C wm 
Sir Hugh. She became interested and when she heard what a treat 
fruit was to the sick child she sent the footman for a dish of grap 
'Here,' she said, taking two bunches and putting them on my ] 
'take her these/ *I do like you for that,' I said earnestly, '1 do ind 
She laughed. I think she was pleased. 

To-day I fell in love with Fanny Thomas. 

I danced the first quadrille with her and made innumerable mis- 
takes, once or twice running quite wild through the figure like a 
runaway horse, but she was so goodhumoured and longsuffering. 
It was a very happy evening. How little I knew what was in store 
for me when I came to Llan Thomas this afternoon. 

Saturday, 9 September 

I thought Mrs. Oswald looked ill. She showed us a copy book 
sent over from Africa and written by a native boy whom she sup- 
ports there at school and whom she has named Arthur Drummond, 
which has so disgusted and enraged her own son Arthur Oswald 
that he threatens to shoot Arthur Drummo'nd if he should ever dare 
to come to England. 

1 Fanny was evidently Daisy Thomas's nickname. 

142 KILVERT'S DIARY [ S ept. 

Sunday, 10 September 
I have been in a fever all day about Daisy, restless and miserable 

with uncertainty. 

Monday, n September 

TLis morning I went to Mrs. Venables and unburdened my mind 
to her and asked her advice. She was enchanted to hear of my 
attachment and wish to marry, though I did not tell her it was 
Daisy. She gave me a great deal of good kind advice and encouraged 
me very much. Still I was very restless and feverish all day. 

Tuesday, 12 September 

A wretched restless feverish night. This morning I went to Mrs. 
Venables in the drawing room bow-window and told her that it 
was Daisy I was in love with. She liked the idea extremely. Then 
she went to discuss the matter with Mr. Venables. I went away, but 
soon she came down to tell me that he was very glad, highly approved 
of it and would talk to me about the matter at ten o'clock tomorrow 

Wednesday, 13 September 

An ever memorable day in my life. I went to the Vicarage at 
10 o'clock and had a long talk with him on the lawn about my 
attachment to Daisy. Ways, means and prospects. I started off for 
Llan Thomas on foot rather nervous. As I crossed the bridge over 
the Digedi I wondered with what feelings I should cross the bridge 
an hour later. The whole family at home came into the drawing 
room to see me and I was wondering how I could get Mr. Thomas 
away for a private talk, when he said suddenly, 'Come out into the 
garden/ Daisy came into the room. I thought she coloured and 
looked conscious. Then we went out into the garden, her father 
and L I said, 'You will be very much surprised but I hope not dis- 
pleased at what I am going to say to you.* *What is it?* he said 
eagerly, 'have you got the living of Glasbury?' 'No, something 
much nearer to you than that.' * What is it?' I was silent a minute. I 
was frightfully nervous. *I-am~attached-to-one-of-your-daughters,' 
I said. Just as I made this avowal we came suddenly round the corner 
upon a gardener cutting a hedge. I feared he had heard my con- 
fession, but I was much relieved by being assured that he was deaf. 
Mr. Thomas said I had done quite right in coming to him, though 
he seemed a good deal taken aback. 

He said also a greet many complimentary things ab.:u: tr.y 'hon- 
ourable high-minded conduct*, asked what my prospects were and 
siiooic ^'s i'^aci over t leTt tl ^^ui^ n.'* > *' &ii-"^ T v si* ^"P-H?*"""* < **~* "*^^"!r 

^ *,H A**, *r *.* **V- *" *""., "* J "' W1 ' '~ , " ** g -*g^- '-**"' -"-*---. 

tfce circumstances, he saia, and I must not destroy nis oaug.iter s 
peace of mind by speaking to her or she wing her Li any wav that ! 
was attached to her. 'You have behaved so well that I don't know 
which of them it is. unless it is Man"/ 'Xo, it is your youngest 
daughter.' Toot little girl, she is so young/ 'She is nineteen.' 'Yes, 
but a mere child, and so guileless and innocent. She would be so 
fond of you. If I were a young man I should have done just what 
you have done and chosen her out of the rest. "When you were here 
on Friday I saw she liked you. I said to my wife after you were gone, 
"That little Fanny likes Mr. Kilvert". Long engagements are dread- 
ful things. I cannot allow you to be engaged but I won't say "Don't 
think of it". Go on coming here as usual, if you can put constraint 
on your feelings and not show her that you like her more than the 
others. It is a cruel thing for you, I know, but it would be a still 
more cruel thing to tell her and destroy her peace of mind/ 

Well, I thought to myself, whatever I suffer she shall not suffer 
if I can help it. 

We had been walking along the path between the house and the 
garden and down the middle garden walk. The place is inextricably 
entwined in my remembrance with the conversation and the cir- 
cumstances. I felt deeply humiliated, low in spirit and sick at heart. 
But it was a great deal to learn from her father that lie had observed 
her liking for me. I believed she liked me before. Now I am sure of 
it. But it was hard to know this and yet not to be able to tell her or 
show her that I loved her. I was comforted by remembering that 
when my father proposed for my mother he was ordered out of the 
house, arid yet it all came right. I wonder if this will ever come right 
The course of true love never does run smooth. What has happened 
oniy makes me long for her more and cling more closely to her, 
and feel more determined to win her. 

On this day when I proposed for the girl who will I trust one day 
be my wife I had only one sovereign in the world, and I owed that. 

I went back across the brook with a sorrowful heart. At Clyro 
Vicarage every one was out. I left a note for Mrs. Venables. *He 
was very kind but gave no encouragement/ At Cae Mawr I found 
my sisters and Tom Williams playing croquet and just driven into 


the verandah by the rain. The afternoon had been grey, dull and 
dismal with an E. dark wind. Everything seemed gloomy and cold 
and the evening was irksome. I could not feel able to join in the 
Bezique at Cae Mawr. 

Thursday, 14 September 

I went to the Vicarage after breakfast and told them the result of 
my visit and proposal yesterday. They were much pleased and very 
hopeful and thought the answer was as favourable as I could have 
expected at first. Somehow things seem to look brighter and more 
cheerful this morning. I wrote to my father to tell him of my 
attachment and ask what my prospects were as far as he knew. 

Friday, 15 September 

Lying in bed this morning dozing, half awake and half asleep, I 
composed my speech of thanks at my wedding breakfast, a very 
affecting speech, and had visions of myself with Daisy at Langley 
and other places. 

Thersie and Dora in the churchyard sketching the Church from 
different points. Fanny in the Church practising on the harmonium. 

Saturday, 16 September 

I went to see Mrs. Lewis and old Mrs. Watkeys at Whitcombe's. 
She began talking about Daisy. She said she liked her best of all the 
sisters though they were all very kind to her. She remembered Miss 
Fanny when the family first came to Llanigan, a bright pretty little 
thing coming into Church with her long hair falling over her 
shoulders. She was always such a kind friendly humble young lady. 
Mrs. Watkeys said she should never forget how Daisy would come 
to see her with some of her sisters. Too shy to speak herself she 
would whisper to one of her sisters to tell Mrs. Watkeys to send 
down to the house for some meat. It reminded me irresistibly of 
'the grapes*. I loved to hear the old woman talking so fondly of her. 

Sunday, 17 September 

I preached in the morning from Psalm xv, i, 2, and went to 
Bettws with Dora who skipped about like a goat. 

I had to-day very kind letters from my Father and Mother about 
my attachment to Daisy. They say if they had inherited their 
natural share of the Worcester money they might have retired from 
Langley in my favour, but now that is impossible. They cannot 


afford it. My mother is very curious to know the young lady's 
name. I believe she thinks it is Mary Sevan. I am told by my father 
that I shall have one day 2700. 

Monday, 18 September 

I went to the Vicarage with Mrs. Venables and had a talk with 
Mr. Venables about my prospects. He most kindly promised to 
write to the Bishop to ask him for a living for me. 

At 2.30 we all drove to Llan Thomas with Mrs. Hilton, meeting 
Major Thomas, Lechmere and Charlie at the Brecon turnpike 
coming into Hay on foot to pay calls. Mrs. Thomas and Mary came 
into the drawing room first. I was very nervous when Mrs. Thomas 
came in, but she received me very kindly and cordially just as usual. 
The croquet things were got out, two sets playing on the same 
ground across from either peg. The girls gradually came out on to 
the lawn. I began to fear Daisy was not coming. She was the last of 
all. I was horribly afraid she had been advised not to appear, be- 
cause I was there. Presently I turned and there she was in a black 
velvet jacket and light dress, with a white feather in her hat and her 
bright golden hair tied up with blue riband. How bright and fresh 
and happy and pretty she looked. 

She stood by me all the game watching us. I talked to her a good 
deal and she was so nice and sweet. 

I love her more and more each time I see her. I think she loves 
me a little. I hope so. God grant it. I am sure she does not dislike 
me, and I believe, I do believe, she likes me and cares for me. I 
fancy I can see it in her clear loving deep grey eyes, so true and 
fearless and honest, those beautiful Welsh eyes that seem to like to 
meet mine. I think she likes to be with me and talk with me, or 
why did she come back to me again and again and stand by me and 
talk to no one else? I wish I could tell her how dearly I love her but 
I dare not. I must not, because of my promise. Perhaps I am deceiv- 
ing myself and mistaken after all. Perhaps what I think is love is 
only her innocent childlike affectionate way with all, and she 
might be the same with anyone else. I cannot believe it. I will not 
believe it. How proud and glad I felt ever) 7 time she came and stood 
by me. And I thought she seemed proud and fond too. How fond 
we should be of each other. I wonder what she thinks of my poor 
disfigured eyes, whether she loves me better or worse for that. She 


iiust know. She must see. Yet it does not seem to make any differ- 
ence against me with her. Perhaps she is sorry for me. And they say 
pity is akin to love. 

My own dear girl. My own precious love. May God give her to 
me in His own good time. What should I do if anyone else were 
to come and take her from me? I believe this is one of the matches 
that are made in Heaven. All is hers now. It is all for her, life, 
talents, prospects, all. All for her sake, valuable only that they may 
be laid at her feet, with fond pride. I look at everything now only 
in relation to her. If I am and have anything that is good I prize it 
and rejoice in it for her sake, that it may be hers. 

She and Mrs. Thomas and I were walking together. "With what 
different feelings I walked down this same path last Wednesday 
with her father. How miserable I was then and how happy I have 
been this afternoon. Daisy went to her own little garden which she 
had when she was a child and has still and gathered from it a scarlet 
geranium and a geranium leaf which she put into her own dress. 
We went down the broad middle garden walk and presently came 
to a large bed of mignonette which scented the whole air. Daisy 
asked me if I would like some flowers. 'Yes,* said Mrs, Thomas, 
'gather him some.' So she gathered me some mignonette, took the 
geranium out of her dress, and made up a nosegay which she gave 
to me. 'It is from my own garden/ she said. 'I shall value it all the 
more/ said I. 

Wednesday, 20 September 

I went to the Vicarage to speak to Mrs. Venables and settle the 
Psalms and Lessons with Mr! Venables for the Harvest Festival next 
Tuesday. As I was coming down the steps he tapped his study 
window and came out on to the lawn to have a talk. He said he 
thought he ought to caution me not to think my prospects better 
than they were and not to do anything precipitate. 

At 2.30 1 walked across the fields to Hay Castle to a croquet party. 
Daisy was at the Castle already with Charlotte and Charlie. Part 
of the people went out into the archery field. She went with them, 
inseparable from her friend Fanny Bevan. I and some of the rest 
played a slow game of croquet. Presently Daisy came on to the 
lawn again. I thought her manner was altered, more quiet, guarded 
and reserved. Perhaps it was only that she was more shy in a strange 

1871] VERY SAD 147 

place than at home. But it seemed to me as if she had received a 
hint not to be too forthcoming. 

Friday, 22 September 

After luncheon walked with Mrs. Venables to Cusop Church to 
attend the Harvest Thanksgiving Service* By the way we had a 
a long nice talk about Daisy. Mrs. Venables thinks her so nice and 
grown so nice looking. I don't know what I should do without 
Mrs. Venables. She encourages and does so comfort and help rne at 
this time. 

Saturday, 23 September 

A letter came from Mr. Thomas. Kindly expressed and cordial, 
but bidding me give up all thoughts and hopes of Daisy. It was a 
great and sudden blow and I felt very sad. The sun seemed to have 
gone out of the sky. I wrote a courteous reply saying that I must 
abide by his decision, but that an attachment would not be worthy 
of the name which could be blown out by the first breath of difficulty 
and discouragement and that I should be more unworthy of his 
daughter than I was if I could give her up so lightly and easily. I 
said that all that was left me was to hope and quietly wait for her, 
but I could not conceal from myself that the lapse of years and a 
long unbroken separation might alter feeling which at present 
appeared to me unalterable. 

In the afternoon we went to Cae Mawr to shoot and play croquet. 
The Priory people were there, Mrs. Allen, Lucy, Katie, Miss Draper, 
and lovely little May Oliver with her bewitching face, beautiful 
dark eyes and golden curls. She was shooting and had no quiver, so 
I acted as quiver for her, holding her arrows, picking them up, and 
being her slave generally. 

Sunday, 24 September 

Mr. George Venables told the following story at dinner the other 
day. The Bishop of Worcester (Philpot) who is singularly spare and 
attenuated, was staying in a house. He observed a child looking at 
him very attentively for some time, and when the Bishop left the 
room the child asked, Is the Bishop a spirit?' *No, the Bishop is a 
very good man, but he is not exactly a spirit yet. Why do you ask?* 
'Because,' said the child gravely, 'his legs are so very thin, I thought 
no one but a spirit could have such very thin legs/ 


Saturday, October Eve 

A glorious morning after the dark hopeless rain of yesterday. 
The land was rejoicing in the sunshine, the jewelled green of the 
meadows, the brilliant blue of the Beacons. The river swollen by 
yesterday's rain was tumbling and rushing brown and tumultuous 
under Hay Bridge and sweeping round the curves below where the 
yellowing trees leaned over the brown water hurrying along the 
winding shore. 

Then to see John Williams the gardener and old Sarah Probert. 
As I sat by their fireside old Hannah Jones lighted her pipe, began to 
smoke, and told me the tragic story of Mary Meredith's suicide. She 
lived at New Barn and a son of Juggy (Joan) Price, Bill Price, lived 
close by at Sunny Bank. They went together and he got her with 
child. She had a little money of her own in the bank but she could 
not draw it out without her brother John's consent for their money 
was mixed up together. Mary thought that if she could get her 
money her lover would marry her for the sake of the money. But 
her brother would not yield to let Mary draw her money. More- 
over he and his father were very angry with Mary for being with 
child and disgracing them. Whereupon poor Mary seeing no hope 
of marriage became melancholy mad. * Often,* she said to Hannah 
Jones my informant, 'often I have gone out on moonlight nights and 
sat down by the spring and cried for hours, thinking that I would 
drown myself in the river.' What a picture. The solitary figure of 
the weeping girl sitting by the well in the moonlight. The many 
bitter tears shed on many a cold night by the moonlit well. 

Then her father died and she grew worse and worse. At last there 
came an outbreak. One day she suddenly declared she would do no 
more for her brother, left the bacon half salted and the meat was 
spoilt. Not long after she was seen walking and 'prancing' about 
down by the river on Boatside. But she left the river and in the 
evening she was seen 'prancing* about in the Bron. John her brother 
went down and brought her up home to New Barn. He suspected 
she was up to something, for she asked him to let her little boy who 
always slept with her sleep with him that night, and when they 
went to bed he locked the front door and put the key in his pocket 
forgetting that the backdoor had no fastening but a bolt on the 
inside. In the night Mary got up and left the house and was seen by 
people who were abroad very early in the morning dodging ana 


ducking behind the hedges and going down the Cwm. The carter 
boys at Boatside were at plough that morning when they saw a 
woman coming up from the river with her head buried in her breast. 
She was a long way from them and they thought it was Mary Pugh 
who lived then at the Tump House. They called out, 'Mary, you 
are out early this morning . They thought she had been down 
gathering wood by the river. The woman lifted her head, looked at 
the teams, turned and ran down to the river as hard as she could go 
and plunged headlong in. It was a fortnight before she was found, 
and then a flood cast her body up near Whitney Court. It was sur- 
mised that she would be buried as a suicide without any service on 
the 'backside of the Church', but she was buried by Mr. Venables 
with the usual ceremony. 

Tuesday, 3 October 

A note from Jane Dew of Whitney Rectory asking me to attend 
their Harvest Festival this afternoon. The service began at 2.15. 
After Church the whole parish, men, women and children, dined 
in the Rectory yard under a pent-house of beams and tarpaulin, 
near 200 people. After dinner all the men played or rather kicked 
football at each other and then till it grew dark, when the game ended 
in a general royal scuffle and scrummage. Cold supper at 7. I took 
Lizzie Thomas of Winforton Rectory and her pretty eyes into sup- 
per, and tried to catch the 845 train but while Henry Dew and I 
were running along the line to the station we heard the train coming 
behind us and it glided past close blazing with lamps into the station 
where it stopped half a minute and was off again to Hay in spite of 
Henry Dew's running and hooting. So I walked home. Past and 
left behind one roaring brook after another, Briliey, Riydspence, 
CaBalva. Over the border out of England into Wales in the dark, 
and one man was bringing another deadly sick out of the Briliey 
Rhydspence Inn, the old timbered house, into the road. 

Thursday, 5 October 

A letter from my Mother this morning says that my Father had 
had been to Dr. Fox's to see Aunt Emma. She did not use quite so 
many oaths and curses as usual. But Dr. Charles Fox sat by all the 
time, and she did not scruple to say in his presence that his house was 
a hell upon earth. 


Saturday, 7 October 

The Hereford Tmi^has misprinted our report of the Ciyro Harvest 
Festival as follows, 'The widows were decorated with Latin and St. 
Andrew's crosses and other beautiful devices in moss with dazzling 
flowers.' This was irresistible and the schoolmaster roared with 

There was a murderous affray with poachers at the Moor last 
night. Two keepers beaten fearfully about the head with bludgeons 
and one poacher, Cartwright, a Hay sawyer, stabbed and his life 
despaired of. 

Monday, 9 October 

There was a frost in the night and this morning the tops of the 
poplar spires are touched, are turned to finest gold. A letter from 
my Father saying he is coming to Clyro this afternoon. I went to 
the station to meet him and Miss Sherriff was there waiting for the 
train to go back to Glan Usk, and with her were Miss Rhoda and 
her intended, Mr. Timmins. When the train came he put them into 
a first class smoking carriage. 'Do you smoke?' I said to Miss 
Sherriff. 'No,' she said laughing, and got out again, while the lover 
was covered with confusion at having put his betrothed into a 
smoking carriage. 

Wednesday ; u October 

My father brought back 4 nice jack from Llangorse, one 6 Ibs, 
some 18 or 20 pounds of fish altogether, and the best day's fishing 
he has ever had. 

Friday, 13 October 

After school about 12.20 1 started to walk over the hills. The fern 
cutters were hard at work on the Vicar's Hill mowing the fern with 
a sharp ripping sound. The mountain and the great valley were blue 
with mist and the sun shone brilliantly upon the hill and the golden 
fern. I had put a flask of ginger wine in my pocket and a sandwich 
of bread and bacon which I ate by the Milw Bridge at the meeting 
of the three parishes and wished I had another for I was as hungry as 
a hunter. 

Up the long Green Lane the heather bloom was long over and the 
heather was dark, speckled with the little round white bells. I 
looked for Abiasula along the green ride narrowing between the 
fern and heather, and looked for her again at the Fforest, but the 


great dark heather slopes were lonely, nothing was moving, the 
cottage was silent and deseited, the dark beautiful face, the wild 
black hair and beautiful wild eyes of the mountain child weie 
nowhere to be seen. 

Round the great dark heather-clothed shoulder of the mountain 
swept the green ride descending steeply to the Fuallt farm and fold 
and the valley opened still more wide and fair. The beautiful 
Gksnant came leaping and rushing down its lovely dingle, a flood 
of molten silver and crystal fringed by groups of silver birches and 
alders, and here and there a solitary tree rising from the bright green 
sward along the banks of the brook and drooping over the stream 
which seemed to come out of a fairy land of blue valley depths and 
distances and tufted woods of green and gold and crimson and russet 

At last I found my way up a rich green orchard and through a 
gate into the fold sheltered by some noble sycamores. The farm 
house, long, low and yellow-washed, looked towards the N.E. The 
house is said to be the oldest inhabited building in these p^rts. It 
stands high above the Arrow on its green mount, embosomed and 
almost hidden by its sycamores and other trees. In a dark secluded 
recess of the wood near the river bank an ice-cold never-failing 
spring boils up out of the rock. Mrs. Jones said it makes her arms 
ache to the shoulder to put her hand into the water from this spring 
in the hottest day of summer. In the hot summer days Louie and 
the other girls take the butter down the steep bank, across the Arrow 
and make up the butter in the wood by the icy spring. Then they 
bring the butter up and it remains as if it had been iced. There are 
beautiful trout in the river and laige eels. Mrs. Jones talked much 
of the wicked old Squire, Beavan of the Yat Glascwm and of Mrs. 
Irvine and his two other poor daughters [ ] into idiots. 

Sunday, 22 October 

Coming home in the dusk I turned into the school house to tell 
the schoolmaster I was going out to-morrow for a few days and 
that I should not be at school this week. The schoolmaster is learning 
to play the violin. He produced the instrument and began to play 
upon it. It had a broken string, and there was something wrong with 
all the rest, and the noise it made 'fairly raked my bowels' as old 
Cord used to say at Wadham of Headeach's violoncello. The school- 


master however did not appear to notice that anything was wrong. 
His wife held the book up before him. 'Glory be to Jesus', sang the 
schoolmaster, loudly and cheerfully sawing away at the cracked 
and broken strings, while the violin screeched and shrieked and 
screamed and groaned and actually seemed to writhe and struggle 
in his arms like a wild animal in agony. There was something so 
utterly incongruous in the words and die noise, the heart-rending 
bowel-raking uproar and screams of the tormented violin, that I 
smiled. I could not help it. Shriek, shriek, scream, groan, yell, 
howled the violin, as if a spirit in torment were writhing im- 
prisoned within it, and still the schoolmaster sawed away vigorously 
and sung amid the wailing, screeching uproar, * Glory be to Jesus' 
in a loud and cheerful voice. It was the most ludicrous thing. I 
never was so hard put to it not to laugh aloud. 

Monday, 23 October 

A wedding at 9 o'clock, fixed most conveniently for me by the 
people themselves. The man was one of the most Boeotian clowns 
I ever saw. He made an unusually extraordinary hash of *I thee 
endow' and 'thereto I plight thee my troth*. Plainly he had not the 
least idea of the meaning of what he was saying. And the woman 
was naturally foolish and childish and did not even know her right 
hand from her left. 

Wednesday, November Day 

Mrs. Venables wrote to me yesterday. She is terribly bothered 
again about Gibbins' affairs. Young Lewis, the Hay tailor, has once 
more suddenly appeared on the scene and all is ablaze again when 
we thought the attachment had died away at least on her part and 
been forgotten. Mrs. Venables wants some reliable information 
about the young man. So I had to consult Evans the schoolmaster 
yesterday and to go to Hay this morning to the Castle to ask Mrs. 
Beavan's advice. 

The old soldier Morgan sent me by his wife a basket of Quince 
apples, the only ones that grew on his tree this year. 

Thursday, November Morrow 

The morning opened with a fine sky of brown and dark hard 

Old Sarah Williams and a few more of the old people still salute 
one with, 'Your servant, sir', 'Your servant, ma'am'. In the next 


generation and after a few more years this will never be heard. 
Some of the old fashioned folks still call me 'your honour' and 
'your reverence*. 

Monday, 6 November 

Such a happy day. Thank God for such a happy day. I have seen 
my love, my own, I have seen Daisy. She was so lovely and sweet 
and kind and the old beautiful love is as fresh and strong as ever. I 
never saw her more happy and affectionate and her lovely Welsh 
eyes grew radiant whenever they met mine. She was looking 
prettier than ever and the East wind had freshened her pretty colour 
and her lovely hair was shining like gold. She wore a brown stuff 
dress and white ribbons in her hat. 

I wonder if Daisy and I will ever read these pages over together. 
I think we shall. 

As I went to Llan Thomas this afternoon I met the Tregoyd 
travelling carriage with imperials on the roof dashing along the 
road to Hay and round the turn by Victoria Cottage. Lady Here- 
ford and De Bohun Devereux (my old St. Leonard's pupil at Thatch 
Cottage) w^ere inside and on their way to Whitfield. 

Saturday, n November 

Mr. George Venables sent me a brace of Liysdinam pheasants and 
a rabbit. Baskerville shot 3 woodcocks this afternoon near the 

This morning Catherine Price of the New Inn was married to 
Davies, a young Painscastle blacksmith, before the Hay registrar. 
What I call a gipsy jump the broom* marriage. The wedding feast 
was at the New Inn which is now shut up as an inn and abolished. 
As I passed the house I heard music and dancing, the people dancing 
at the wedding. They were dancing in an upper room, unfurnished, 
tramp, tramp, tramp, to the jingling of a concertina, the stamping 
was tremendous. I thought they would have brought the floor 
down. They seemed to be jumping round and round. When I 
came back the dance seemed to have degenerated into a romp and 
the girls were squealing, as if they were being kissed or tickled and 
not against their will. 

Sunday, 12 November 

In the evening as I was sitting by my fire thin king, just after I had 
lighted the candles came a tap at the door and Mrs. Venables. She 


sat down and put her feet up on the fender and we had a long cosy 
talk together about Daisy, and Gibbins' love affairs. She says she 
and Mrs. Henry Venables consulted together about the expediency 
of die step and then she read aloud to Gibbins my letters about her 
lover young Lewis. I asked if Gibbins did not hate me for what I 
had said, for I had no idea that she would ever hear the contents of 
the letter or know that I had written on the subject. No, Mrs. 
Venables said, not at all. Gibbins thought it very kind and friendly 
of me to take so much trouble about the matter. I must give her a 
copy of Stepping Heavenward. I think it will do her good. 

Monday, 13 November 

'What a fine day it is. Let us go out and kill something/ The old 
reproach against the English. The Squire has just gone by with a 
shooting party. 

Tuesday, 14 November 

Tom Williams of Llowes, Pope and Clouston dined with rne this 
evening. Mrs. Venables sent some soup from the Vicarage and we 
had a leg of mutton roasted and a couple of boiled chickens and 
bacon and a brace of pheasants from Llysdinam, an apple pie and an 
apricot jam tart. 

Thursday, 16 November 

Yesterday Mr. and Mrs. Venables drove to call at Llan Thomas. 
This morning Mrs. Venables told me that Mr. Venables likes Daisy 
very much. He thinks her very nice-looking and admires her nice 
open face. Mrs. Venables was very much disappointed to see so little 
of Daisy. Mrs. Thomas sent her on an errand out of the room and 
she did not come in again. 

Sunday, 19 November 

At the school this morning I had a grateful word and glance and 
clasp of the hand from Gibbins in return for the book I gave her, 
Stepping Heavenward. 

Saturday, 25 November 

I went up to Cwm Sir Hugh. A heavy dark mist from the East 
brooded over the country and the trees dripped drearily in the fading 
light. A screaming romp with Lucretia who in rolling about upon 
the bed upset the candle on to the coverlet and burst into peals of 
inextinguishable laughter while a strong smell of burning rose from 


the singed woollens and I snatched up the candle in a way which 
redoubled Lucretia's mirth. 

Advent Sunday, 3 December. My birthday 

Holy Communion. Sadly few communicants. Almost the 
smallest number I ever saw here. 

Champagne at dinner at the Vicarage and a capital plum pudding 
in honour of my birthday. 

Monday, 4 December 

The sun went down behind the dark round of the Old Forest 
filling the air with a strange yellow splendour and brightness as of 
the colour of shining brass. 

Called on Hannah Whitney. I told her of the tomb of Walter 
Whitney. She had never seen the tomb and did not know of it, 
but she said she thought it must be the tomb of her grandfather's 
cousin. 'You are of a better family than many of the gentlemen 
round here/ I said. 'I know it, 1 said the old woman proudly. If I 
were any the better for that,' she added with a half sigh. "Thank 
God for my bit of breed/ she said cheerfully. 

She was sitting at her frugal tea at her tittle table by the fire in 
her humble cot, this descendant of a line of squires. I told her I 
could see her good blood in her face. She replied that she had no cause 
to be ashamed of her family. The old woman was daily, hourly, 
expecting a load of club coal from Hay for her scanty store was 
nearly exhausted and the weather is sharp. 

Knocked all to pieces to-day with face ache, feeling miserable, 
stiff, sick and nohow. 

Friday, 8 December 

News came to Hereford to-day that the Prince of Wales is much 
worse, dying it is thought. 

Sunday, 10 December 

The blue mountains were silver-ribbed with snow and looked 
like a dead giant lying in state a Titan. 

Thursday, 14 December 

The anniversary of the Prince Consort's death ten years ago, and 
people were very anxious about it for it was said the Prince of Wales 
was conscious of the day, but to-day the Prince is better. Thank 


Sunday, 17 December 

Before lie began his sermon this morning Mr. Venables read from 
the pulpit the latest telegram from Sandringham which is very com- 
fortable. 'The Prince has passed a tranquil day and the symptoms 
continue to be favourable.' Dated last evening. What a blessed 
happy contrast to the suspense and fear of last Sunday. How thank- 
ful we all are. I love that man now, and always will love him. I 
will never say a word against him again. God bless him. God bless 
him and keep him, the Child of England. In the afternoon I alluded 
to the Prince's illness in an old Advent sermon on John the Baptist 
from Matthew xi, 10 and nearly broke down. 

Monday, 18 December 
Came from Clyro to Langley. 

Wednesday, 20 December 
Miserable all day with an attack of cholera and diarrhoea. 

Wednesday, 27 December 

At noon went to call upon old John Bryant. A grandson and a 
great grandson were spending Christmas with him, young men 
employed in the Derbyshire iron works. They told me of a new 
invention, iron paper, as thin as the thinnest tissue paper. The sheets 
of iron are rolled so thin that 3000 sheets together are only an inch 
thick. The patriarch lay in his bed looking merry and hearty, and 
ever ready with a joke. He said it was the ninety-first Christmas he 
had seen in this world, and he had never seen such a mild and green 
Christmas, but he never felt better in his life. 

After dinner I went with Dora to call at the John Knights' at the 
farm on the common. At the cross roads we met Mrs. Ashe with 
Thersie and Syddy going round to the cottages giving the invita- 
tions to the New Year's supper at Langley House. Syddy is magnifi- 
cent entirely, splendidly handsome. I never thought her so beautiful 
before. Her violet eyes, her scarlet lips, the luxuriance of her rich 
chestnut curling hair, indescribable. She is said by my mother to be 
very like her great-grandmother, especially in her chestnut curling 

Saturday, 30 December 

To-night Fanny, Dora and I dined at Langley House. Mr. Ashe 
was particularly agreeable. He gave me a bottle of superb 1847 
port which we finished together. 

ity] NEW YEAR'S EVE 157 

Ttersie was at Ckrct twice to-day, A few days ago ste was 
teaching Florence and asking ter wto died for us on tie Cross, 
lord Ctesterfeld' repled Florence promptly, laving teard a 
good deal lately atout tis dealt in connection witl tte Prince of 
ales and Londestorougt lodge, 

I was going to ted tut Dora came down on tiptoe in a loose 
mapper witt ter tair Ming on ter stoul ders, soon Mowed ty 
Ttersie in tte same state, We sat round tte fa tiling of domestic 
overtead sleeping tte sleep of tte just At j minutes to ; 
tte tels of Ctippentam Cturct pealed out loud and clear in tie 
frosty air, ffe opened a stutter and stood round tie window 
listening, It was a glorious moonlit cigtt 


New Years Day 
I went to London by the midday mail. 

Wednesday, 3 January 

During the most critical days of the Prince's illness a friend of 
Perch's was present one night amongst a great crowd, when an 
unfavourable bulletin came from Sandringham. The crowd had 
been patiently waiting some time and when the sad bulletin was 
posted and read a groan of dismay ran through the people. One 
man exclaimed, * Serve him right!' Immediately the infuriated 
crowd seized him, stripped him naked, knocked him down and 
kicked him up and down the street like a football till the police 
biust in and rescued him just in time before he was killed. 

Thursday, 4 January 

Sam and I went down to Dulwich by rail to see the picture 
Gallery at the College. I was delighted with the beautiful picture of 
Rembrandt's pretty servant girl immortalized by himself. There is 
also a fine martyrdom of St. Sebastian and the Madonna and child. 
But the gems of the collection are the two superb and famous 
Murillos, the two Spanish peasant boys and the Spanish flower girl. 
The Crystal Palace at Sydenham glittered upon die hill in the sun- 
shine like an enormous diamond and seemed to be close to Dulwich. 

I went to see the Dore Gallery in Bond Street, a few fine pictures. 
There was a noble picture of Paolo and Francesca. 

[A gap in the MS. at this point.] 

The beautiful girl stripped naked of her blue robe and stabbed in 
the side under the left breast is sailing through the air and reclines 
half standing, half lying back, supported tenderly in the arms of her 
lover who has been stabbed in the same place. They are passing over 
the fiery gulf. The naked girl is writhing and drawing up one of her 
legs in an agony but her arms are thrown back and clasped pas- 
sionately round her lover's neck. Her head lies upon his breast, her 
face is turned back up to his, and her eyes are looking into his eyes. 
She seems to look up to him and through him to another for com- 
fort and help and strength and an example of sufFering patience, and 
he looks down upon her with infinite pity and sadness and tender- 
ness and love. The anguish of death is stamped upon her white and 



sharpening yet still lovely features, but Her soul is rapt above her 
pain in an ecstasy of love. The longing loving yearning look in her 
eyes grows moie intense. Her arms are tightening with a last loving 
effort and clasp round her lover's neck. She feels she is going, but 
she knows that he will follow her soon, and that they will meet 
again before long at the Master's feet. Love is stronger than death. 

Saturday^ Twelfth Night 
Came down to Langley. 

Tuesday, 9 January 

Went to see old Caroline Farmer and read to her the latter part 
of Luke vii. On my way thither I fell in with a boy in the lane 
named George Wells. He was going to beg a bit of bread from a. 
woman who lived at the corner of the Common under the Three 
Firs. He said he did not know the name of the woman but she knew 
his mother and often gave him a bit of bread when he was hungry. 
His mother was a cripple and had no parish relief, sold cabbage nets 
and had nothing to give him for dinner. The boy's face looked pale, 
pinched and hungry. Then a very different figure and face came 
tripping down the lane. Carrie Britton in her bright curls and rosy 
face with a blue cloak, coming from the town with a loaf of bread 
from the baker's for her grandmother. 

Wednesday, 10 January 

This morning at prayers the pretty housemaid Elizabeth with the 
beautiful large soft eyes was reading aloud in Luke i how Zacharias 
saw a vision in the Temple, but for the word 'vision* she substituted 

Thursday, n January 

The air early this morning was as warm as the air of a hot-house 
and the thrushes singing like mad thinking that spring had come. 

Saturday, 13 January 

Left Langley for Clyro by the usual early beastly train. 

Dined at the Vicarage. 

I hear Daisy came out at the Hereford Hunt Ball last Tuesday, 
looked very pretty and danced a great deal and was very much, 


Tuesday, 16 January 

Lucretia and I liad a splendid romp. 

Called on Lewis the policeman, who was in a difficulty to know 
what to do with some Clyro boys who had been playing football 
on Sunday. 

Saturday, 20 January 

Took old Sylvanus Whitcombe a note from the Registers show- 
ing that he was baptized January ist, 1783. 

A warm golden afternoon and the mountains white with snow. 
The frosty sunset on the snowy mountains, their great white slopes 
and snow fields. A party of the young men of the village have just 
gone past my window in the clear bright frosty moonlight with an 
accordion well played and sweet voices singing 'Though hardy 

One day some of the schoolchildren came rushing into the School 
house to tell Mr. Evans that Sarah Chard Cooper, the gardener's 
little granddaughter, was running about the school as if she were 
mad and they could not stop her. The children added that they 
believed Sarah was drunk. Mr, Evans went out immediately to see 
what was the matter and he found the little girl running wildly 
round and round the school with her hair streaming, and her eyes 
glaring and starting out of her head. They could not stop her, she 
slipped through their hands and rushed past them, running round in 
circles plainly quite beside herself. It was true the child was drunk. 
Her grandmother Mrs. Cooper confessed afterwards laughing that 
she had been drinking brandy herself and had given the child some. 
Tuesday, 23 January 

Visited Edward Evans, old Price the paralysed keeper, Mrs. Lacy, 
Catherine Ferris, James Smith, and Mrs. Price of the Swan who 
showed me preserved in a box part of one of Price's whiskers pulled 
out by the Clyro women in the late row at the Swan. Price told 
some one at the time that he had one of his whiskers in his pocket. 

The Penny Readings to-night went off admirably, one of the 
very best we have ever had. A crowded room, nearly 250 people. 
Wednesday, 24 January 

Visited John Morgan. The old soldier had another epileptic fit on 
Sunday. Came home in a wild storm of rain. A waterspout of rain 
burst in the night about midnight and the Dulas and Cwmbythog 

1 872] MUD OH THE CARPETS 161 

brook are in full roar, rushing tlirough the dark with a wild strange 
stormy foam light. The Cwmbythog brook burst its banks and 
came through the Lower House, in at the back door and out at the 
front. Mrs. Williams said' she had only known this happen once 
before since they had lived there. The same thing happened at Wern 
Vawr, and at the Lower Bettws, and at Lower Cabalva a sudden 
rush of water, from a drain blown up by the wet, poured down the 
hill and flooded the house so that when the servants came down in 
the morning they suddenly found themselves up to their middles in 
water. Happily a great portion of the flood escaped into the cellars 
or they thought the rooms might have filled and the windows been 
blown out by the pressure of the water. A thick deposit of yellow 
mud was left upon the carpets. The great white mountains this 
afternoon loomed ghostly through the rain clouds and the thick 
dark mist. 

Thursday, 25 January 

A beautiful gleam of sunshine lit the rainy mountains into tender 
showery lights of blue and green. At 3 o'clock walked to Hay with 
Mr. Venables and Captain Adam and met Mary, Grace and Char- 
lotte Thomas walking to call at Wye Cliff after the ball. I have nQt 
seen Daisy since November. It seems a long, long time, and I do so 
yearn after her at times. She went with Edith and Henry to a private 
ball near Hereford on Tuesday and enjoyed it very much I hear. 

Saturday, 27 January 

Banging of guns, rabbit shooting at Wye Cliff. Then the Rad- 
norshire postman coming from Llowes blew his horn. 

I set out for Pwlldwrgwy to get some wild snowdrops along the 
river side by the Otter's Pool for Mrs. Venables. 
Friday, Candlemas Day 

At the Vicarage I found the servants taking down the awnings 
from outside the drawing room window. The cords had got 
twisted and would not work. The morning was superb, warm and 
brilliant, like a May morning, and the hundreds of yellow stars of 
the Cape jessamine between the drawing room and dining room 
windows were full of bees. 

Wednesday, 7 February 

I walked to Hay. The afternoon was brilliant in its loveliness. 
The sun was under a cloud from behind which streamed seven 


broad rays on to the variegated mountain and valley, river and 
meadow, striking out brilliant gems of sunlit emerald green on the 
hill sides. 

Teddy Bevan walked with me to Pont Vaen. In the street we met 
Mrs. Allen's carriage with Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Oswald. Mrs. Allen 
was dressed as I told her like a duchess in a magnificent ermine cape. 
The Bridges were at home, gave us tea and showed us all their 
poultry, the white Brahmas, the golden-pencilled and silver- 
spangled Hambros, and that ferocious wild beast the silver pheasant 
who has at length been tamed by having his long spurs cut, and 
has at last consented to allow his wife of the period to live. He killed 
all the rest. 

I had a great business at Owen's getting some crackers. The 
people seemed to me to be all mad or drunk. A chorus of boys in 
the street was singing and enquiring in loud strains, 'Where is now 
the prophet Daniel? Where are now the Twelve Apostles?' A kdy 
bowed to me across the street and evidently wished to speak to me. 
I approached her and bowed and she began, *Oh, Dr. Clouston* I 
explained that she had made a mistake, whereat she fell into great 
confusion and profuse apologies. But I begged her not to regard 
the matter for I was used to being mistaken for Dr. Clouston. 

Home across the river roaring in the dark. 

Before I settled down for the evening I went into old Hannah 
Whitney's and sat awhile with her. She spoke of the two extra- 
ordinary sermons she heard preached in Llanbedr Church by 'Parson 
Button', Parson Williams of Llanbedr. 'He was a good Churchman 
but he was a very drunken man/ 'How then being a very drunken 
man could he be a good churchman?* 'Oh, he read the Lessons very 
loud and he was a capital preacher. He used to say to the people in 
his sermons, "My brethren", says he, "don't you do as I do, but you 
do as I say".' He was very quarrelsome, a fighting man, and fre- 
quently fought at Clyro on his way home from Hay. One night he 
got fighting at Clyro and was badly beaten and mauled. The next 
Sunday he came to Llanbedr Church bruised black and blue, with 
his head broken and swollen nose and two black eyes. However, 
he faced his people and in his sermon glorified himself and his 
prowess and gave a false account of the battle at Clyro in which he 
was worsted, but in which he represented himself as having proved 
victorious. The text was taken from Nehemiah xiii, 25. 'And I 

1872] OH DAISY 163 

contended with them and cursed them and smote certain of them 
and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God.' Another 
time he was to preach a funeral sermon for a farmer with whom he 
had quarrelled. He chose this text. Isaiah xiv, 9, 'Hell from beneath 
is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming/ 

Thursday, 8 February 

To-night there is a dinner party at Llan Thomas. Some officers 
from Brecon are to be there, but all married men, as Mrs. Bevan 
pointedly informed me. I wonder if she suspects anything. Sat up 
late writing some blank verse in honour of Daisy. 

Shrove Tuesday, 13 February 

Dined at the Vicarage at 5.30 and at 7 drove with the Venables 
and Crichton to the Rifle Volunteer Conceit in the National School- 
room at Hay. We had tickets for the first row, and in the third row 
I immediately espied Daisy and Charlotte. I had the good fortune 
to get a chat with Daisy before the seats were filled up, and she was 
so nice and I was so happy. She told me she had been to two balls 
and I told her how disappointed I was not to meet her at the Crich- 
tons' ball. She said she had enjoyed her balls very much, and I said 
I heard that the young ladies who 'came out' at toe Hereford Hunt 
Ball (of whom she was one) had all looked very pretty and been 
very much admired. She smiled and blushed and looked pleased. 
I told her how well I remembered the kst time I saw her nearly 3 
months ago. 'It's a long time since you have been over to Llan 
Thomas. I suppose you have been very busy. If you come over you 
will find some of us at home. We don't usually go out till half past 
three.' 'I am afraid,' I said, 'that you have all quite forgotten me/ 
'Oh, no/ she said. 

I was so happy talking to her. I had been hoping and thinking 
all day that I might meet her at the conceit this evening. But now 
the seats'began to fill. Fanny Bevan her great and inseparable friend 
sat on one side of her and her father on the other. I sat in the row 
before them. Henry sang. 

Oh Daisy. 

When the concert was over rain was pouring and there was a 
long way to go to the carriages. Daisy took Lechmere's arm but 
they had no umbrella and were standing in the porch waiting for 
one of their party to come back with an umbrella. She was dressed 


entirely in white, a white dress and long white cloak, and she looked 
so pretty standing there with her fair golden head uncovered. I ran 
back into the room, got Cooler's umbrella for them and accom- 
panied them to the carriage. * Thank you\ she said gratefully. When 
we reached the door of the school yard their covered waggonette 
was standing in the middle of the road. It was very dark. 'Where's 
Fannys* said Henry. 'Oh here you are, I was just coming back for 
you. I'll carry you to the carriage.' 'Can you?' she said. 'Yes, put 
your arms round my neck. ' She clasped her arms round her brother's 
neck, and he took her up in his strong arms and carried her safe and 
dry to the carriage. It was the prettiest sight in the world and 
reminded me irresistibly of Huldbrand carrying Undine through 
the flood. 

Wednesday, 21 February 

One day Perch skinned an owl in London and from midnight till 
one o'clock he roamed about the streets seeking where he might 
bestow the body of the owl, fearing that the carcase of the owl might 
be found and described in the papers as the body of a fine full grown 
male child. Eventually he whirled the corpse over a garden wall. 

Leap Thursday, 29 February 

There is a general belief amongst the Clyro and Langley people 
that I cannot travel from Radnorshire to Wiltshire without going 
over the sea. 

Sunday, 3 March 

Supper at the Castle and home under the clear sky brilliant 
flashing moving with the quick lights of the stars and the bands of 
Orion, the sweet influences of the Pleiades and Arcturus with his 

Monday, 4. March 

What a superb day it has been, almost cloudless, brilliant, hot as 
late May and the warm south wind blowing sweet from the Black 
Mountains. Cwmgwanon Wood is being murdered. As I walked 
along the edge of the beautiful dingle and looked sadly down into 
the hollow, numbers of my old friends of seven years standing lay 
below on both banks of the brook prostrate and mutilated, a mourn- 
ful scene of havoc, the road almost impassable for the limbs of the 
fallen giants. 

At the Homme the door was unlocked but the downstairs rooms 

1872] HAPPY CHILD 16$ 

empty and the only sounds in the silent house were the scratching 
of a little fox terrier shut up in a closet and the horrible moaning and 
growling of the madwoman upstairs. 

She was in service more than twenty years as a housemaid at 
Kensington with some people named Collinson I think, an agent of 
Lord Bute's. In their service she saved 500 and came home to her 
own country to enjoy her money. This is how she is enjoying it. 

Wednesday, 6 March 

The night was superb, glittering with stars in a cloudless sky. As 
I came down the Long Lands Pitch I met a man in the dark coming 
up. It was old Richard Meredith the land-surveyor who stopped 
and began to talk about all things in heaven and earth, planets and 
fixed stars, philosophers and heretics, Mahometans and their creed. 
Amongst other things he asked me if I considered that animalculae 
had the power of suffering. He was inclined to think not. 

Friday, 8 March 

At the Scripture Lesson at the School this morning asking Eleanor 
Williams of Paradise, 'What happened on Palm Sunday?' she 
replied, 'Jesus Christ went up to heaven on an ass. This was the 
promising result of a long struggle to teach her something about 
the Festivals of the Church. 

Sunday, 10 March, Mothering Sunday 
And a fine day for the young people to go Mothering. 

Monday, n March 

In the afternoon I walked over to Llan Thomas. Mrs. Thomas 
better but not downstairs. Mr. Venables came soon after me, then 
the Bridges, and then Mr. Allen. I had a good deal of talk with 
Daisy. The coming of the other visitors created a confusion and 
diversion in our favour and being screened and our voices drowned 
in the Babel of tongues we were not noticed so much. She said that 
she and her sisters had been looking for birds' nests. 'I hope you 
didn't take any,' said I. 'Do you think we would?' answered she 
indignantly with a pretty flash of spirit. She told me that three of 
the six bells of Llanigan Church were stolen by dissenters who 
carried them away across the mountain and put them up in their 
own chapel. She was going for a walk with her father and sisters 
and said it was 'Such fun*. Rest, happy child, content with a few 


simple innocent delights. Rest, happy child, guileless and unspoilt, 
God keep thee, dear. 

Wednesday, 13 March 

Rain was creeping over the hills from the west and blotting out 
the mountains. Below lay the black and gloomy peat bog, the 
Rhos Goch, with the dark cold gleam of the stagnant water among 
its mawn pits, the graves of the children. This place has always had 
a strange singular irresistible fascination for me. I dread it yet I am 
drawn to it. As I returned I paused at the stonen stile above Llan- 
shifr to look down upon the strange grey dark old house lying in 
the wet hollow among the springs, with its great dismal solitary 
yew and the remains of the moat in which the murdered Scotch 
pedlar was buried. 

Thursday, 14 March 

After dinner to-day I was seized with a strange fit of nervous 
restlessness such as I never felt before, I should think it must have 
been something like the peculiar restlessness that comes shortly 
before death. I could not sit still or rest for a minute in any posture. 
The limbs all kept jumping and twitching and I should have liked 
to set to a run only I felt so weak and wretched. It was a strange 
uncomfortable feeling and with it came a twinge of neuralgia and 
toothache. I stood, I knelt, I sat, I lay back in my chair, I got up and 
walked about but nowhere could I rest. After a while I fell asleep 
or dozed in my chair and afterwards I awoke better. 

Sunday, 17 March 

After dinner Mr. Venables told me that I must write next week 
to the Bishop to give notice that I mean to resign the curacy of 
Clyro on July i. He asked me what I should do if the living of 
Clyro were offered to me. *I should refuse it/ I said. 'Then you 
would be mad/ he said. But I don't want the living of Clyro, I 
don't want to be vicar of Clyro. 

Wednesday, 20 March 

By the great oak of Cross Foot and the green lane to Cwmpelved 
Green, where the idiot girl Phoebe sat laughing by the fire while her 
grandfather was groaning in bed and a black cat rushed in and out 
through a broken window pane, through which also the keen E. 
wind rushed in upon my head. 


Thursday, 21 March 

Dora writes, 'Father Ignatius and his monk caused a great sensa- 
tion in Bath last week. They were staying at rather a grand house 
where there were some pretty fashionable girls and the unfortunate 
monk was bound by his vow not to look at a woman. They live 
on vegetables and dates entirely in Lent and look very ill. On' Sun- 
day they came into Bathwick Church for the Communion and 
Thersie said they looked so odd coming very fast up the aisle against 
the stream of people just pouring out of church. All the young ladies 
eyes were on them but the monk's were never raised from the 

Saturday, 23 March 

In the afternoon called on Miss Bynon. She asked me about 
Emmie and her voyage to India, and declared that she should 
dread the 'Musketoos' more than anything. She said that when she 
came home from Kington last summer her house was filled with 
such swarms of flies that she sat down and cried to think wherever 
all the flies could come from. 

I had a long talk with Mrs. Venables this morning about my 
prospects. Pointing to a letter on the mantelpiece she said smiling, 
'From your father-in-law*. She thinks I am quite right in wishing 
to decline the living of Clyro if it is offered to me. I devoutly hope 
it will not be. She says what is quite true, that I could scarcely keep 
the poor old vicarage in repair. Carpenters and masons are almost 
always there now to prevent its falling down. 

Palm Sunday, 24 March 

A snowy Palm Sunday. Mr. Venables went to Bettws in a dense 
snowstorm. In the afternoon I had the happiness to have all the 
poor people to myself. None of the grand people were at Church 
by reason of the snow. So of course I could speak much better and 
more freely. 

After service I went up to the Bird's Nest to see old Meredith. 
Further up I stopped and turned to look at the view. I saw what I 
thought was a long dazzling white and golden cloud up in the sky. 
Suddenly I found that I had been gazing at the great snow slopes of 
the Black Mountain lit up by the setting sun and looking through 
the dark storm clouds. It was a sublime spectacle, the long white 
rampart dazzling in its brilliancy and warmed by a golden tinge 


standing high up above the clear dark line of the nearer hills taking 
the sunshine, and bathed in glory. Then in the silence the Hay 
Church bell for evensong boomed suddenly out across the valley. 

Monday, Lady Day 

Snow storms again, and Hay Fair. 

At 5 o'clock I went up the Bron and by the field path to little 
Wern y Pentre. The old people talked over some of the parish 
tragedies which I have heard of, the supposed murder of Price of 
Cwmrafan by Burton, his would-be son-in-law, by day on the high 
road near Cabalva, and the digging up of Jane Whitcombe's baby 
at the Bronith, a baby which was supposed to have met with foul 
play. 'It's bad to get diem/ said old Williams shaking his head, 'but 
it's worse to do away with them.* 

When I rose to go the snow was still falling thickly in enormous 
feathers and was growing deep upon the ground. I had not brought 
an umbrella and kind Mrs. Williams insisted upon my having her 
shawl to put over my shoulders. What kindly people these are. 
The leaden sky was awfully dark and low and seemed loaded with 
snow. I went down by the fields and wandered over the fields wide 
of the stiles, so much in a few minutes had the snow changed the 
look of everything. The sheep and lambs were running about in 
confusion crying piteously and all taken aback by the sudden storm. 
When I got to Penllan I could not help being struck by the change 
in the village. I had left it bright and sunny and green smiling under 
a blue sky. Now [after] an hour and a half it lay apparently deep in 
snow, snow on the village roofs, snow on the Church and Church- 
yard, snow on the green trees, snow everywhere. And over the 
village stooped low the terrible black leaden sky like a pall drooping 
lower and lower. Nothing could be more dark and dreary and 
depressing. But the trees were a beautiful sight. They were loaded 
thick with soft feathery snow in the most fairylike and fantastic shapes. 

Tuesday, 26 March 

To-day I wrote to the Bishop of St. David's to give notice that 
I intend to resign the Curacy of Clyro on the ist of July next, 'when' 
(I added by Mr. Venables' advice, but againsfmy own wish) *I shall 
have been a Ecensed curate in the same parish in your Lordship's 
diocese for seven years and a half. 

The New Barn meadows are fearfully cut up by the timber car- 


riages which are hauling away the fallen giants, ash and beech. The 
shouts of the timber haulers were ringing hollow and echoing 
through the wasted murdered dingle. My beautiful favourite Cwm 
is devastated and laid waste. 

Good Friday, 29 March 

For the first time I heard to-day the sweet bells of Clyro chiming 
down in the valley just before I reached the Chapel. I could even 
hear the three bells chime change for the single bell. The west wind 
brought the sound of the bells up the hill so clearly that it arrested 
me even while I was walking. 

After Chapel I learnt that Mrs. Wall had been happily brought 
to bed of a son at half past one this afternoon. She and her husband 
had been very anxious about it for it is four years since their last 
child Eleanoi; was born. And Mrs. Wall was rather ashamed of her 
condition I suppose, though I am sure I don't know why she should 
have been, for she denied to her neighbour Mrs. Nott, the black- 
smith's wife, that she was in the family way. 'Then/ said Mrs. 
Nott oracularly to Mrs. Wall, 'I am sorry to 'hear it, Mrs. Wall. I 
am sorry for you, for it is something worse/ 

I went down to the Chapel Dingle to see sweet Emma Griffiths 
and to give her a cross Bun I had brought up for her. There was a 
smile in her sweet sky-blue eyes as she came to the door, but her 
voice and manner were very sad and quiet and I soon found she was 
suffering from face-ache. She said she should so much have liked to 
come to Chapel but her child kept her at home. She was scarcely 
ever able to leave home and went nowhere and heard nothing. She 
could not go to Chapel to-day because her husband Evan was at 
work at Llwyn Gwifiim. Emma told me she was married when 
she was between nineteen and twenty, nineteen and a half. 'Too 
early/ she said, 'too early/ with a sad shake of the fair young girlish 
head, wise by sad experience before its time, that sorrowful touching 
thing, a grey head on green shoulders. f lt was much too early/ she 
repeated. I've often been sorry since that I married so young. I 
have been at service ever since I was ten years old. I have not been 
in a sight of places. My first place was at Bron Ddu at Mr. Williams'. 
One morning all the men were away and the two missises were in 
bed and I had to fetch the cows in to be milked. There was a bull 
with the cows. I left the bull in the field with one cow and brought 


the other cows on to the gate. I saw the bull coining after me. He 
had come after me before but he had never caught me. I saw him 
now coming on towards me through the cows. I tried to get 
through the gate, but the bull caught me and struck [me] down. I 
felt no pain then or afterwards though he had me down on the 
ground punishing me for half an hour. I know it was half an hour 
the bull had me for I had looked what time it was when I went out 
and they told me what time it was when I came into the house 
afterwards. No one came to help me or to drive the bull away. No 
one knew about it. He "punned" me with his head mostly, but he 
ran his horn into my side and into one of my legs. After he had 
knocked me about on the ground a long time he got me up and 
pushed me through a pleached hedge that had been newly tined. 
He did not come after me. Many folk wondered he didn't come 
through the hedge after me and kill me. When I came to myself 
and stumbled into the house I was bruised all over and covered with 
blood, almost naked, with my clothes torn nearly off me, and the 
doctor couldn't tell whether I had any eyes or not for they were 
quite closed up. I was half unconscious all the time the bull had me 
on the ground and I felt no pain, at the time. But I have never been 
so strong or well since. I have gatherings on my side and the bull 
hurt something within me. I was at home for three months but 
after I got well I went back to Bronddu and finished my time till 
the May Fair though my friends tried to persuade me not to. But 
I always finished my time if I could. I never liked to break my time. 
I was not afraid of other cattle afterwards, but I was afraid of that 
bull. He was a two-year-old. Master fatted him and killed him. 
It was a great mercy the bull did not kill me, but my time was not 
come. The Lord was very merciful to me and saved me from him,' 
said the girl reverently and humbly. 'The Lord had something else 
for me to do.* 

And this was one of the sorrowful and haid experiences in that 
her young life. A child between eleven and twelve years old. 

An election of a Guardian for the parish is coming on and the 
place is all in an uproar of excitement. Church versus Chapel and 
party feeling running very high. The dissenters are behaving badly. 

Easter Sunday, April Eve 
A soft warm spring morning of changing sunshine and shower. 


I never was so hard put to it as in Church this morning to resist 
untimely and inextinguishable laughter. It was almost irresistible. 
The sun was beating fiercely through the southern windows upon 
the heads and books of the devout Hodgson party in the Cabalva 
seat. Mrs. Chinnock tried to draw down the blind, but the blind 
was broken and would not draw or be drawn. Mrs. Venables then 
signed to the clerk to come and pull the blind down. The little man 
came and pulled and pulled till at last with a more violent tug 
smash went the wooden bar with a loud report and hung in ruins 
in the air with a broken back. I knew the crash was coming when 
I saw the clerk pulling, and when it came it was almost too much. 
I was nearly choked. There came into my mind suddenly my 
Father's old story of the clergyman waiting for die hymn before the 
sermon to be finished and meanwhile looking through the church 
window and seeing an old woman pulling up a stubborn carrot. 
At last up came the carrot all at once, over went the old woman on 
her back head over heels. 1 thought so!' exclaimed the delighted 
clergyman aloud, to the astonishment of the expectant congregation 
who had finished the hymn and were waiting for him to begin the 

Easter Monday, 1872 

Crichton said when he lived at Boughrood Castle with his uncle 
Mr. Clutterbuck, old Boughrood Church was a most miserable 
place. The choir sat upon the altar and played a drum. 

Friday, 5 April 

I dined at the Vicarage at 6.30 and went with the Venables to the 
ball at Clifford Priory at 8. There were 52 people at the party. 

Daisy promised to dance the 5th dance a quadrille with me 
and gave me her card and pencil to write her name. Morrell and 
Miss Child were vis-a-vis to us, but I am afraid we did them out of 
their fair share of dancing, for Daisy and I were soon absorbed in 
conversation and each other I at all events was absorbed in her 
and became quite oblivious of the figure and the whole thing. 

'You never come to Clyro,* I said, 'and it is such a pretty place/ 
'Talking of flowers,' I said, *do you remember once last September 
giving me some flowers out of your own garden?* 'Yes/ she said 
blushing prettily, and looking down. 'I have those flowers now/ I 
said, 1 have kept them carefully ever since, and I prize them more 


than I can tell you.' 'I am sure/ she said, 'they can't be worth keep- 
ing now. They must be withered long ago/ 'No/ I said, 'I kept 
them in water a long time and then I dried them, and they are as 
sweet as ever, especially the mignonette. I shall keep them until 
you give me some more/ She blushed and smiled and I don't think 
she was displeased. I ought not to have said so much, but I could 
not help it. She was so pretty and sweet and kind and she made 
such gentle and kind allowance for my awkwardness and mistakes 
in dancing, and I did love her so. She was dressed in white almost 
entirely, with a faint sweet suspicion of blue, a white flower in her 
bright hair and a quantity of dainty frilling and puffing almost 
hiding her fair shoulders. I thought I had never seen her look 

When the quadrille was over much too soon she took my 
arm and we went out into the cool hall. I found her a comfortable 
chair screened from general observation by a beautiful azalea. She 
sat down and we began to talk again. But alas, 'the course of true 
love never did run smooth'. We had not been talking long, when 
our seclusion was broken in upon and our happiness marred at 
least mine was by hearing her father's voice behind us. As soon as 
she heard his voice she rose, I thought in a slight and pretty con- 
fusion. Then he called to her to know if she were engaged for the 
next dance, and I saw she was obliged to go. So we went bacjc 
together to the ball room and I scarcely saw her to speak to her 
again the whole evening, except once in the gallery when we were 
drinking claret cup and we had a few words together about the 
Wen Allt. I should have dearly liked to ask her to dance again, 
but I was afraid of getting her into a scrape and attracting people's 
attention, and she was much too kind to refuse if she were not 
engaged, and much too honest to pretend to be engaged when she 
was not. 

I got to bed at 4.30 just as ckwn was breaking. 

Saturday, 6 April 

To-day I feel good for nothing, from the reaction after the excite- 
ment of the ball last night and seeing Daisy. All the old feelings of 
last September have revived again as keenly, as vividly, as ever. 
The old wounds are all open and bleeding again and I can rest 
nowhere in my misery. 

!8 7 2] SIR GEORGE BROWN 175 

In the afternoon I went to the Vicarage. Mrs. Venables seeing in 
a moment what I wanted God bless her came out into the 
garden with me and sitting tinder the great double-headed fir tree 
we talked over the evening of yesterday with reference to Daisy 
and myself. She told me I owed it to myself to speak to her father 
again before I left the country, and get something settled. But my 
position is no better now than it was 6 months ago and I cannot 
humiliate myself before him again for nothing. I don't know what 
to do. Mrs. Venables asked me if I saw any one I liked better should 
I still consider myself bound in honour to Dais) 7 . 'Yes,' I said, 'but 
I don't think I shall ever see any one I like better. I daresay I shall 
never marry, but if I do marry I shall marry her.' 

Sunday, 7 April 

Colonel Pearson gave us some of his Crimean reminiscences. 
Most of the English officers could speak French. Hardly one of the 
French officers could speak English. The Russian officers could 
speak both French and English fluently. Colonel Pearson was on 
Sir George Brown's staff. The old General was not much of a 
linguist and knew but little French. One night an Aide de Camp 
came from Marshal Canrobert with a message about an attack that 
was to be made or expected in die morning. The French officer 
was grinning, bowing, scraping, grimacing and gesticulating. Sir 
George could not understand a word. He used some strong 
language and turned to Colonel Pearson. 'What does he say, Master 
Dick? Give him a glass of sherry and tell him to go away.' Tel! him 
to go away! As if he had been an organ-grinder! 'And,' said Colonel 
Pearson with an expressive shrug, 'perhaps next morning a hundred 
lives might depend upon that message/ 

Saturday, 13 April 

The two old women Hannah Jones and Sarah Probert were both 
lying in bed and groaning horribly. I gave them some money and 
their cries and groans suddenly ceased, 

Sunday, 14 April 

The beauty of the view, the first view of the village, coming 
down by the Brooms this evening was indescribable. The brilliant 
golden poplar spires shone in the evening light like flames against 
the dark hill side of the Old Forest and the blossoming fruit trees, 
the torch trees of Paradise blazed with a transparent green and white 


lustre up the dingle in the setting sunlight. The village is in a blaze 
of fruit blossom. Clyro is at its loveliest. What more can be said? 

Sunday, 21 April 

I hear that Houseman at Bredwardine wishing to drape the Com- 
munion table with black on Good Friday and having no black 
drapery suitable for the purpose was misguided enough to put over 
die Table the old filthy parish pall. Everyone was disgusted and 
shocked at what they considered a piece of indecency. It is the talk 
of the country and Miss Newton is up in arms. 

Monday, 22 April 

Held a consultation with Mrs. Venables about my love affairs, 
plans and prospects. I see how it will all end. Alas, who could have 
believed that I could be such a villain? 

Alas for the breaking of love 
And the lights have died out in the West, 

And, oh, for the wings of a dove, 
And, oh, for the haven of rest. 

Wednesday, 24 April 

I went up the Cwm this afternoon. I went on to Fairlands to see 
the sick blacksmith Bayliss. He said his son the wantcatcher was 
very good to him. There were 5 dozen of prepared moleskins 
hanging up to the cratch, to make somebody a waistcoat. 

Wednesday, May Day 

I stayed to dinner 1 and Armine and Helen played very nicely. 
The night was cool and pleasant as I walked home under the stars. 
About midnight I pissed over the Khydspence border brook, and 
crossed the border from England into Wales. The English inn was 
still ablaze with light and noisy with the songs of revellers, but the 
Welsh inn was dark and still. 

Monday, 6 May 

Got into an argument with Mr. Latimer Jones about people's 
legal and moral rights ovei their property and he spoke in such an 

1 At Whitney Rectory. 

JS72] SNOW IN MAY 175 

Holy Thursday, 9 May 

This morning I conceived the idea of a poem in the style of Tarn 
o'Shanter the scene to be laid in the ruined Church of Llanbedr 
Painscastle. Two lovers who had made an assignation in the church- 
yard to be terrified by seeing through the windows an assembly of 
devils, ghosts, lawless lovers and murdered children. 

Visited old Price as usual. He was lying on his bed which has been 
moved downstairs. He invited me to sit down. I was afraid to 
because of the lice. I read to him Psalms cxxi and cxxx. 

Friday, 10 May 

An Indian letter from Emmie at Hyderabad was forwarded to me 
from Langley. It describes their journey up country from Bombay 
and their arrival at the Residency, Hyderabad, in their bullock 
transits, their horses having jibbed and broken down. There was a 
capital description of the moment when the horses struck work in 
the midst of a violent thunderstorm at midnight, the pouring rain, 
the intense stifling heat of the carriage, the wailing hungry baby, 
the lightning-lit barren dreary landscape and the motionless figures 
of the Sowar horsemen who were escorting them. 

Above Pentwyn old James Jones the sawyer was breaking stones. 
We fell into discourse. He said the ground ivy or Robin-run-in- 
the-hedge is called Hay Maids in Herefordshire. 'That's hemlock,' 
said he severely, taking the white blossom from me. 'That's poison 
for Christians/ He said wild garlic, called Jack-in-the-Bush, is a 
famous pot herb. The old man's work was done, he put up his tools, 
took me home with him, and lent me Culpeper's Herbal 

Saturday, n May 

This is the bitterest bleakest May I ever saw and I have seen some 
bad ones. May is usually the worst and coldest month in the year, 
but this beats them all and out-herods Herod. A black bitter wind 
violent and piercing drove from the East with showers of snow. 
The mountains and Clyxo Hill and Cusop Hill were quite white 
with snow. The hawthorn bushes are white with may and snow at 
the same time. 

Late in the afternoon walking from the Lower House to the 
Bronith I met Morrell returning from fishing his water at Cabalva, 
His keeper Whitcombe was carrying with justifiable pride a beauti- 
ful 9 Ibs salmon, the first he has killed. Morrell asked me to dine 


with him and we discussed part of the salmon which was delicious, a 
bottle of port, and some fine strawberries from Cabalva as well 
flavoured as if they had been ripened out of doors. 

Whitsun Monday, 20 May 
To-day I came to Langley. 

Monday, 27 May 

As I sat in my bedroom window seat with the window open to- 
wards Jerusalem in the early beautiful May morning, the nightingale 
was singing and a cuckoo was calling, a cushat was cooing, and a 
turtle dove was trilling. 

Went to London by the mid-day mail. Put up at Perch's rooms, 
68 Westbourne Park Villas. Visited the? Academy and saw Mr. 
Venables* portrait. Perch met me there. The poorest Academy 
Exhibition I ever saw and full of uninteresting portraits. Dined at 
the Gaiety rooms and went to see Pygmalion and the Statue played at 
the Haymarket. The Statue scenes where the statue becomes a 
woman and the woman becomes a statue were admirable. The 
Statue was played by Mrs. Kendall (Miss Robertson). Old 
Buckstone as Chrysos the art critic and in the preceding farce was 

One picture in the Academy Exhibition was fascinating. Fauchette, 
the half-length picture of a dark-haired girl, the dark eyes full and 
large with tears, mournful, beseeching, imploring, and sad with a 
wistful despairing sadness too sad for words. 
Tuesday, 28 May 

The eve of the Derby and London very full. Walked through 
Kensington Gardens to the International Exhibition. Some good 
pictures, especially in the Belgian gallery. I was much struck by 
some snow scenes, and Undine rising from the fountain. At one 
o'clock the Row was a stirring sight, the Ladies' Mile crowded with 
riders. At 5 and 5.30 the Drive at Hyde Park Corner was dazzling, 
the throng tremendous. 

Wednesday, 29 May 

London very empty, everyone gone to the Derby, the Row 
deserted. We came down by the evening express. How delicious 
to get into the country again, the sweet damp air and the scent of the 
beanfields. I do loathe London. I walked up by Cocklebury through 
the cool fresh damp lane, green and fragrant. 


Friday, June Eve 

Left Langley for Clyro for the last time. To-day is Minna Ven- 
ables* birthday and I went back to Clyro on purpose to celebrate it. 
Flags were flying at Clyro School and children were swarming in 
and out like bees. Over the school gate the schoolmaster and mis- 
tress had made a pretty triumphal arch of greenery and flowers with 
'Long Live Miss Venables'. As we dashed up to the Vicarage door 
the bells pealed out. They had been ringing since early morning and 
die ringers had dined at the Vicarage. The blacksmiths also had been 
firing anvil cannons since 5.30 a.m. 

The children had their tea on the lawn between 5 and 6 o'clock 
and then went to play on the Lower Bron. It seemed as if the night 
would never get dark and we could not begin the fireworks till 
nearly ten. They were the first fireworks ever seen in Clyro and the 
village and the Bron were swarming with people. 

Saturday, June Day 

I went up to the Wern below Gwernfydden this afternoon to see 
if the bog beans were yet in flower. I found a few here and there 
standing with their feet in the water and with their delicate lace-like 
flowers shining like stars about the swamp. I think it is one of the 
loveb'est flowers that grows, the exquisite fret and filigree work of 
the white lace blossom surrounded by the cluster of bright pink 

Monday, 3 June 

At 1.30 the omnibus and my Father drove up to the door. He 
went out fishing at Cabalva immediately. 

Tuesday, 4 June 

The news of my leaving Clyro is spreading through the village. 
These people will break my heart with their afFectionate lamenta- 

Friday, 7 June 

Dined at Llan Thomas. A family party. Major Thomas showed 
me his stereoscopic slides 'The Diversions of Satan* which he bought 
in India, They were made for an Indian Prince, but were not 
pronounced enough to suit his taste. 


Saturday, 8 June 

A pouring wet morning. Nevertheless my Father and I started 
in the rain for the Vale of Arrow, he riding the Vicarage pony 
sheltered by two mackintoshes and an umbrella and I on foot with 
an umbrella only. We plodded on doggedly through the wet for 
6 miles, casting wistful glances at all the quarters of the heavens to 
catch any gleam of hope. Hope however there seemed to be none. 
The rain fell pitilessly. The Harbour below us in the Vale of Arrow 
was a welcome sight, a haven of refuge. 

In spite of the wild weather on the open mountain we could not 
help noticing the beautiful effect produced upon the steep slopes by 
the vast sheets of brilliantly green young fern spreading amongst 
the old black heather. The mountain ashes were still in full blossom 
in the Fuallt fold and the meadows round the old farm house and the 
graceful trees were covered with the bunches of white bloom. 

We reached the Harbour more like drowned rats than clergymen 
of the Established Church. 

The boy took the pony to the stable and Mrs. Jones came to the 
door. And now here is a fine specimen of Radnorshire manners. 
She was in her working dress and in the midst of her Saturday 
cleaning but quite unconscious of herself and her dress she simply 
and naturally came forward at once and welcomed us to the Harbour 
with her grand courteous manner as if she had been a queen in dis- 
guise or in full purple and ermine. Then at the time when the work 
was done the mistress of the house took her place at the head of her 
table with all the natural grace and simple quiet dignity of a woman 
in the best society. Mrs. Irvine came down and Watkeys Jones, the 
master of the house, appeared like a wounded soldier with his head 
bound up in a red handkerchief. The good people were most kind 
to us, providing us with dry coats, hats and leggings and hot brandy 
and water and when the rain had a little abated we went down to 
the little river to fish under the guidance of the mastei of the house. 
The stream was too muddy foi the fly and too clear for the worm; 
But the water was rising fast. We crossed a swampy meadow to 
the Glasnant above the meeting of the waters, a little stream flowing 
swiftly under alders. Then we followed the Glasnant down to its 
meeting with the Arrow. Some willows grew here and there was 
a likely hole with deep smooth still water under a bush sheltered by 
a sudden curve in the bank. Out came two trout. From the next 

jgya] IRISH MARY 179 

pool four trout came out fast one after another. 'Well done, well 
done!* cried the good farmer with delight, clapping my Father on 
the back, 'I've never seen better work than that.' 
Sunday, 9 June 

I went to see Mrs. Prosser at the Swan, a young pretty woman 
dying I fear of consumption which she caught of her sister, Mrs. 
Hope of the Rose and Crown in Hay. It was a sad beautiful story. 
She was warned not to sleep with her sister who was dying of decline 
and told that if she did she herself would probably be infected with 
the disease. But her sister begged her so hard not to leave her and to 
go on sleeping with her that she gave way. 'What could I do?' she 
said. 'She was my only sister and we loved each other so. I have 
been manied seven years/ she said, 'and now my first child has just 
come, a little girl, and it does seem so hard to go away and leave her. 
But if it is the Lord's will to take me I must be content to go. My 
left lung is quite gone/ she said looking at me with her lip trembling 
and her beautiful eyes full of tears. 

Margaret Griffith, speaking of Mrs. John Vaughan of Llwyn 
Gwillim, who has just been confined with her fourth child, said, 
*Mrs. Vaughan will have a good family soon. Her children come 
fast. But the harder the storm the sooner 'tis over. Every one will 
have her number/ She described how she had washed and cleaned 
Old Price and how she had 'combed out of his head a score platefuls 
of "bocs" (lice)'. 

Monday, 17 June 
Went to Bockleton Vicarage. 

Wednesday, 19 June 

Left Bockleton Vicarage for Liverpool. At Wrexham two merry 
saucy Irish hawking girls got into our carriage* The younger had a 
handsome saucy daring face showing splendid white teeth when she 
laughed and beautiful Irish eyes of dark grey which looked some- 
times black and sometimes blue, with long silky bkck lashes and 
finely pencilled black eyebrows. This girl kept her companion and 
the whole carriage laughing from Wiexham to Chester with her 
merriment, laughter and songs and her antics with a doll dressed 
like a boy, which she made dance in the air by pulling a string. She 
had a magnificent voice and sung to a comic popular air while the 
doll danced wildly, 


'A-dressed in his Dolly Varden, 
A-dressed in his Dolly Varden, 

He looks so neat 

And he smells so sweet, 
A-dressed in his Dolly Varden/ 

Then breaking down into merry laughter she hid her face and 
glanced roguishly at me from behind the doll. Suddenly she be- 
came quiet and pensive and her face grew grave and sad as she sang 
a love song. 

The two girls left the carnage at Chester and as she passed the 
younger put out her hand and shook hands with me. They stood by 
the cai riage door on the platform for a few moments and Irish Mary, 
the younger girl, asked me to buy some nuts. I gave her sixpence 
and took a dozen nuts out of a full measure she was going to pour 
into my hands. She seemed surprised and looked up with a smile. 
'You'll come and see me,' she said coaxingly. 'You are not Welsh 
are you?' 'No, we are a mixture of Irish and English.' 'Born in 
Ireland?' 'No, I was born at Huddersfield in Yorkshire.' 'You look 
Irish you have the Irish eye.' She laughed and blushed and hid 
her face. 'What do you think I am?' asked the elder girl, 'do you 
think I am Spanish?* 'No,' interrupted the other laughing, *you 
have too much Irish between your eyes.* *My eyes are blue,* said 
the elder girl, *your eyes are grey, the gentleman's eyes are black.' 
'Where did you get in?' I asked Irish Mary. 'At Wrexham,' she 
said. 'We were caught in the rain, walked a long way in it and got 
wet through,' said the poor girl pointing to a bundle of wet clothes 
they were carrying and which they had changed for dry ones. 
'What do you do ?' * We go out hawking, 1 said the girl in a low voice. 
'You have a beautiful voice.' *Hasn*t she?' interrupted the elder girl 
eagerly and delightedly. 'Where did you learn to sing?' She smiled 
and blushed and hid her face, A porter and some other people were 
looking wonderingly on, so I thought it best to end the conversation. 
But there was an attractive power about this poor Irish girl that 
fascinated me strangely. I felt irresistibly drawn to her. The singular 
beauty of her eyes, a beauty of deep sadness, a wistful sorrowful 
imploring look, her swift rich humour, her sudden gravity and sad- 
nesses, her brilliant laughter, a certain intensity and power and rich- 
ness of life and the extraordinary sweetness, softness and beauty of 

i8 7 2] LIVERPOOL l8l 

her voice in singing and talking gave her a power over me which I 
could not understand nor describe, but the power of a stronger over 
a weaker will and nature. She lingeied about the carriage door. 
Her look grew more wistful, beautiful, imploring. Our eyes met 
again and again. Her eyes grew more and more beautiful. My eyes 
were fixed and riveted on hers. A few minutes more and I know 
not what might have happened. A wild reckless feeling came over 
me. Shall I leave all and follow her? No Yes No. At that 
moment the train moved on. She was left behind. Goodbye, sweet 
Irish Mary. So we parted. Shall we meet again? Yes No Yes. 
Maria Gwatkin took me down to Mr. Gwatkin's office (wine and 
ship's stores) and introduced me to him, an elderly man, grey, with 
a pleasant goodhumoured face and kindly eye. We went to the 
Exchange, one of the finest buildings of the kind in the world, and 
passing upstairs into the gallery and leaning upon the broad marble 
ledge we looked down upon a crowd of merchants and brokers 
swarming and humming like a hive of bees in the floor of the vast 
area below. All round the enormous hall were desks or screens or 
easels or huge slates covered with the latest telegrams, notices of 
London stock and share lists, cargoes, freights, sales, outward and 
homeward bound ships, times of sailing, states of wind and weather, 
barometer readings. Mr. Gwatkin did not seem to have a high 
opinion of the solvency or honesty of Liverpool merchants. Point- 
ing to the great crowd buzzing and surging below he said, *I don't 
believe there are ten men there who could pay is/- in the pound/ 
He pointed out to me however three honest men. It was a case for 
Diogenes and his lantern, and one felt uncomfortably like being in 
Sodom and ten righteous men nowhere to be found. The quad- 
rangle outside called *the Flags' is where the cotton merchants meet 
and the pavement was white with the fluff of the cotton samples. 

Thursday, 20 June 

At ten o'clock Mr., Mrs., Miss Gwatkin and I went down to the 
Landing Stage and embarked on board a steamboat for New 
Brighton on the Cheshire side of the Mersey, a suburb of Birken- 
head. The morning was lovely, all was fresh and new, the salt air 
and the wind exhilarating and I was in dancing spirits. The Mersey 
was gay and almost crowded with vessels of all sorts moving up and 
down the river, ships, barques, brigs, brigantines, schooners, cutters, 


colliers, tugs, steamboats, lighters, 'flats', everything from the huge 
emigrant liner steamship with four masts to the tiny sailing and row- 
ing boat. From the river one sees to advantage the miles of docks 
which line the Mersey side, and the forests of masts which crowd 
the quays, 'the pine forest of the sea, mast and spar*. 

At New Brighton there are beautiful sands stretching for miles 
along the coast and the woods wave green down to the salt water's 
edge. The sands were covered with middle class Liverpool folks 
and children out for a holiday, digging in the sand, riding on horses 
and donkeys, having their photographs taken, and enjoying them- 
selves generally. Some of the lady and gentlemen riders upon the 
hired horses were pitiable objects, bumping up and down upon 
their saddles like flour sacks, and even requiring their horses to be 
led for them. The ladies as a rule rode without riding habits and 
with crinolines. The effect was striking. 

As we came down the river this morning several large emigrant 
ships lay in the river getting up steam and the Blue Peter, the signal 
for sailing, flying at the fore. They were going down the river this 
afternoon. They seemed crowded with Irish and German emigrants 
and small steam-boats kept bringing fresh loads of passengers along- 
side the big ships. One could not help thinking ot the hundreds of 
sorrowful hearts on board and ashore and the farewells and partings 
foi ever, so many of them, on this side of the grave. 

Eventually we came back to Liverpool, got luncheon and went 
to see the Docks. Nothing gives one so vivid an idea of the vast 
commerce of the country as these docks, quays and immense ware- 
houses, piled and cumbered with hides, cotton, tallow, corn, oil- 
cake, wood and wine, oranges and other fruit and merchandise of 
all kinds from all corners of the world. I admired the dray horses 
very much, huge creatures 17 or 1 8 hands high, more like elephants 
than horses. Liverpool boasts the finest breed of Flemish draught 
horses in the world. 

Mrs. Gwatkin said that 15, 10 and even 5 years ago there was 
much more trade and wealth in Liverpool and much larger fortunes 
more rapidly made than now. There has been of late and there 
still is a stagnation of trade, a depression and deterioration of credit. 
Formerly the streets were blocked by the enormous business and 
the mountains of merchandise passing about, but there is plenty of 
room now. 


Friday, 21 June 

Liverpool left upon my mind an impression of ragged Irish bare- 
footed women and children. Enormous wealth and squalid poverty, 
wildernesses of offices and palatial counting houses and warehouses, 
bustling pushing vulgar men, pretty women and lovely children. 

Saturday, 22 June 

I was very sorry to leave Liverpool this morning. Theodore went 
with me in the cab to the Lime St. Station at 9.15. The cab was 
driven by an old gentleman named Gwynne who was once a man 
of good estate and county magistrate. He married a woman of 
family, but he dissipated his fortune and now he has sunk to be a 
common cabman and his wife makes him an allowance. 

When I reached Clyro about 5 o'clock I found on my table a red 
leather case containing a beautiful gold watch and chain with two 
most kind letters from Mr. and Mrs. Venables saying in the nicest 
way that the watch was from him, the chain from her, and the little 
chain supporting the Braquet Key from the baby. I went im- 
mediately to the Vicarage to thank them as well as I could, for my 
heart was full. 

Monday, Midsummer Day 

The cuckoo was still singing this morning. As I was getting up I 
heard the drone of the Italian bagpipes advancing and two men 
with dancing children, poor little wretches, came playing through 
the village. 

In the afternoon Tom Williams came and carried me off to Llowes 
to dine with him. At dinner he told the following story. A soldier 
who did not want to go to church told his officer that he was 
neither Catholic nor Ptotestant, Church of England nor Presby- 
terian, nor Dissenter. The officer asked what he did belong to. The 
soldier said he belonged to the Yarmouth Bloaters. He meant the 
Plymouth Brethren. 

*, w ,^ /f 27 June 
Mrs. Baskervule sent me a kind letter this evening saying that 
she and her daughters wished me to carry away some remembrance 
of them and begging me to take my choice of an oaken stationery 
cabinet, a large musical box, a time piece or a fitted travelling bag, 
or to mention any thing else that I liked better. 


Friday, 28 June 

I promised Mr. Venables in answer to his request that I would 
stay here through August till September ist inclusive and go home 
for July if my Father wants me. I hope this will he the last of the 
many changes and postponements that have been made in our plans. 
Going down the village I fell in with old James Jones the sawyer. 
1 hear you are going away,* he said in a broken trembling voice. 
And he walked down the village with me weeping as he went. 

Saturday, 29 June 

Called at Hay Castle and went with the four pretty girl archers 
to shoot and pick up their arrows in the field opposite the Castle. 

This evening I went out visiting the village people. The sinking 
sun shone along the Churchyard and threw long shadows of the 
Church and the tombstones over the high waving grass. All round 
the lychgate and the churchyard wall die tall purple mallows are 
in flower and the banks and hedges about the village are full of 
them. Old Hannah Whitney was sitting in her cottage door at 
work as usual with her high cap and hei little led shawl pinned over 
her breast, her thin grey-bearded nutcracker face bent earnestly upon 
her knitting till she glanced sharply up over hei spectacles to see 
who it was that was passing. 

Wednesday, 3 July 

Tom Williams of Llowes and I had long been talking of going up 
to Llanbedr Hill to pay a visit to the eccentric solitary, the Vicar, 
and we arranged to go this morning. The day promised to be fine 
and after school at 10.30 I walked over to Llowes. When the post- 
man, who followed me closely, had arrived we started up a steep 
stony narrow lane so overgrown and overarched with wild roses 
that it was difficult for a horseman to pass, but a lane most beautiful 
and picturesque with its wild luxuriant growth of fern and wild 
roses and foxgloves. The foxgloves were wonderful. They grew 
on both sides of the lane, multitudes, multitudes in long and deep 

Tom Williams was on horseback, I on foot. As we mounted the 
hill, beautiful views of mountains and valley opened gleaming 
behind us, and Tom Williams pointed out to me some of the 
Llowes farmhouses scattered over the hills. The road seemed 
deserted as we went on our pilgrimage. .A.I] the folk were busy in 

z *72] PAINSCASTLE j8 5 

thek hay fields. Here and there my fellow pilgrim from his point 
of vantage in the saddle spoke to a labourer or small farmer over 
the hedge. 

As we went up the steep hill to Painscastle the huge green Castle 
mound towered above us. A carpenter came down the hill from 
the village. I asked him where the grave of Tom Tobacco lay upon 
the moor, but he shook his head. He did not know. 

In the village, a Post office had been established since I was last 
here and the village well, the only one, which was formerly 
common and open to ducks and cattle had been neatly walled and 
railed round. We went to Pendre, the house of the Mayor of 
Painscastle, but the Mayor was not at home. 

At last Mr. Price the Mayor was discovered in the centre of a 
group of village politicians before the alehouse door where 

While village statesmen talked with looks profound 
The weekly paper with thek ale went round. 

Tom Williams talked to the Mayor about quarrying stone for the 
Painscastle school while the blacksmith leaned over the wall taking 
part in the conversation and the rest of the village statesmen 
lounged in the inn porch. The Mayor came up with us on to 
Llanbedr Hill to show us the best quarry. 

He said Painscasde was an old broken borough, one of the Rad- 
norshire boroughs, and they still went through the form of electing 
one of the chief men of the village as Mayor. Sometimes the office 
ran in one family for some time. Williams asked the Mayor if he 
had any power. 'No', answered that dignity, 1 dinna think I have 
much power.' We stopped to look at the stone of the ruined 
village pound. With a touch of dry humour the Mayor told us 
that at the last Court Leet the village authorities and tenants of the 
Manor had made a present to the Lord of the Manor (Mr. de 
Winton) of the pound, the stop gate and the village well, that he 
might keep them in repak. Pointing to one of his fields, whose 
boundary had lately been moved and enlarged, he said with a merry 
twinkle in his eye, 'Because the Lord had not land enough before 
I have taken in a bit more for him off the waste*. The Mayor said 
there was a small school kept near Llanbedr Church by an old man, 
who taught the children well. 'But I do consait he do let them out 
too soon in the evening, he do', said the Mayor disapprovingly. 

186 KILVERT'S DIARY [j/ y 

The Mayor took us to the quarry and discoursed without 
enthusiasm and even with despondency on the badness of the roads, 
the difficulty of hauling the stone and the labour of 'ridding* the 
ground before the stone could be raised. After some talk at the 
quarry about ways and means, we parted, the Mayor returning to 
his mayoralty which had no emolument, no dignity, and no powers, 
he 'didna think 5 , and we going on over the hill towards the abode 
of the hermit. 

At length we came in sight of a little hollow, a recess in the hills 
at the foot of Llanbedr Hill, a little cwm running back into the 
mountain closed at the end and on both sides by the steep hill sides 
but open to the South, and the sun and the great valley of the Wye 
and the distant blue mountains. A sunny green little cwm it was 
secluded deep among the steep green hills, and until you came close 
to it you would not be suspecting the existence of the place. A well 
watered little cwm with sweet waters from the upper and lower 
springs which welled up through the turf and peat and fern and 
heathers, and joining their rills trickled away in a tiny stream down 
the cwm to form a brook. 

In this green cwm stood a little grey hut. It was built of rough 
dry stone without mortar and the thatch was thin and broken. At 
one end of the cabin a little garden had been enclosed and fenced in 
from the waste. There was one other house in sight where the cwm 
ky open to the west, Pencommon which used to belong to Price, 
the old keeper, who died lately in Clyro Village. Not a soul was 
stirring or in sight on the hill or in the valley, and the green 
cwm was perfectly silent and apparently deserted. As we turned 
the comer of the little grey hut and came in sight of the closed door 
we gave up all hope of seeing the Solitary and believed that our 
pilgrimage had been in vain. Then what was my relief when I 
knocked upon the door to hear a strange deep voice from within 
saying, 'Ho ! Ho !' There was a slight stir within and then the cabin 
door opened and a strange figure came out. The figure of a man 
rather below the middle height, about 60 years of age, his head 
covered with a luxuriant growth of light brown or chestnut hair 
and his face made remarkable by a mild thoughtful melancholy 
blue eye and red moustache and white beard. The hermit was 
dressed in a seedy faded greasy suit of black, a dress coat and a large 
untidy white cravat, or a cravat that had once been white, lashed 


round his neck with a loose knot and flying ends. Upon his feet he 
wore broken low shoes and in his hand he carried a tall hat. There 
was something in the whole appearance of the Solitary singularly 
dilapidated and forlorn and he had a distant absent look and a 
preoccupied air as if the soul were entirely unconscious of the rags 
in which the body was clothed. 

The Solitary came forward and greeted us with the most perfect 
courtesy and the natural simplicity of the highest breeding. 'And 
now', he said thoughtfully, 'how shall we do? My landlord 
promised at 2 o'clock to meet me in an hour's time on the hill with 
a gambo to bring home my mawn.' It was now 3 o'clock. 

I asked if he would allow us to accompany him up to the mawn 
hill. * Would you like it? 'he said eagerly. 'Would you like it?' Then 
he went off with Williams to Pencornmon to stable 'the mare* 
begging me to wait and sit down in his house till he returned. 'The 
house* was a sight when once seen never to be forgotten. I sat in 
amazement taking mental notes of the strangest interior I ever saw. 
Inside the hut there was a wild confusion of litter and rubbish 
almost choking and' filling up all available space. The floor had 
once been of stone but was covered thick and deep with an accumu- 
lation of the dirt and peat dust of years. The furniture consisted of 
two wooden saddle-seated chairs polished smooth by the friction 
of continual sessions, and one of them without a back. A four- 
legged dressing table littered with broken bread and meat, crumbs, 
dirty knives and forks, glasses, plates, cups and saucers in 
squalid hugger-mugger confusion. No table cloth. No grate. The 
hearth foul with cold peat ashes, broken bricks and dust, under the 
great wide open chimney through which stole down a faint ghastly 
sickly light. In heaps and piles upon the floor were old books, large 
Bibles, commentaries, old-fashioned religious disputations, C.M.S. 
Reports and odd books of all sorts, Luther on the Galatians, etc. 
The floor was further encumbered with beams and logs of wood, 
flour pans covered over, and old chests. All the other articles of 
food were hung up on pot hooks some from the ceiling, some in the 
chimney out of the way of the rats. The squalor, the dirt, the dust, 
the foulness and wretchedness of the place were indescribable, 
almost inconceivable. And in this cabin thus lives the Solitary of 
Llanbedr, the Revd. John Price, Master of Arts of Cambridge 
University and Vicar of Llanbedr Painscastle. 

z88 KILVERT'S DIARY [j u / y 

Presendy I heard the voices returning from Pencommon where 
they had stabled 'the Mare'. We had not gone many steps before 
Williams called the attention of the Solitary to a man with a horse 
and cart moving along the top of the hill high above us and standing 
out clear against the sky. 'It is my landlord/ said the Solitary. 'He 
is as good as his word/ 

The hermit told us the name of his house was Cwm Cello, and 
that he had been much perplexed and exercised in mind about the 
meaning of the latter word. He was Welshman enough to know 
that there was no such word in Welsh as Cello. But in a dictionary 
which he took up one day in a farm house he found that the word 
'Ceilio' meant a retreat or enclosure, or shelter or pen from cattle. 
'And indeed/ said the Solitary plaintively, 'when I first came to live 
here I did find that all the sheep and cattle took shelter in my garden 
as if they had always been used to retreat there, to that very place in 
a storm. So I called it "the Shepherd's Dingle"/ 

By this time we had reached the crest of the hill side which was 
almost as steep as the wall of a house and at a little distance we saw 
waiting a horse and gambo and a peasant whom the Anchorite 
described as his landlord and addressed as 'Mr. James'. On the 
whole the landlord was better dressed than his tenant. Some low 
conical heaps of peat turf were scattered about among the heather. 
They were large flat thin pieces skimmed off the surface with the 
heather upon them. The Solitary and his landlord and a little boy, 
the son of the landlord, began loading and piling the peats upon 
the gambo first removing the outer turves which had been 
thrown over the rest to keep them dry. I helped the hermit in 
loading his mawn while Tom Williams looked on with a benevo- 
lent smile. When the gambo was loaded heavily enough for the 
steep descent the Solitary sent it down to the cabin of Cwm Ceilio 
in charge of his landlord while he walked further over the hill with 
us to show us the famous Rocks of Pen Cwm and Llanbychllyn 
Pool. Suddenly we came in sight of the precipitous grey rocks 
which are so like the Rocks of Aberedw and which were the last 
haunt of the fairies, the last place where the little people were seen. 
Then there was a gleam of silver over the dark heather stems and 
Llanbychllyn Pool lay in its hollow like a silver shield. The view 
was beautiful and we all lay down upon the dry heather just bud- 
ding into pink blossom to enjoy the fair and 'delicate prospect* in 

I8?a ] THE SOLITARY 189 

foil view of the grey rocks and the silver lake. And the curlews 
called and the plovers whistled with their strange wild whistle 
about the sunny hill. The Solitary was infinitely pleased to 
learn that the grey rocks which looked at us across a cwm 
from the opposite hill si^e had been observed and admired by 
other people than himself. *I said to myself/ he observed, 'that 
those were very beautiful rocks.' 

He told us that he had been very ill with internal inflammation, 
whether of liver or lungs he did not know. He had gone to Builth 
for some medicine which he thought he had chosen very judiciously, 
camomile pills, and he believed they had done him much good. 
It was touching to hear the Solitary man say rather mournfully and 
despondingly, *And I thought I was as strong as ever again, but 
when I walked to Hay and back yesterday I found my mistake.' To 
be ill and to grow old in that lone hut without a soul to care for him 
or to turn his head. How wretched a prospect fo r the poor Solitary. 

It was touching too to find that in his loneliness the hermit had 
been employing his time in inventing without help or sympathy, 
and perfecting, two new systems of shorthand which he had pub- 
lished in Manchester and London. *I said to myself', he remarked, 
'that I thought I might find out a new way/ 

The Solitary told us that he had two little bounty farms in 
Llandeilo Graban. He kept a few fields in his own hands and 
occasionally went over the hill to see his land. The Anchorite and 
the Mayor of Painscasde had both heard of Tom Tobacco's grave, 
but neither knew the mysterious story of the lonely grave on the 
open hill, and only the Mayor could tell me the place of the grave, 
on the top of the ridge where Llanbedr Hill marches with the Hill 
of Llandeilo Graban. 

When we came down from off the hill the Solitary compelled us 
to come into his hut again and sit down for a while. The gambo 
stood at the door with its load of mawn but the landlord and his 
horse and son were gone home. At our request the anchorite 
hunted among his piles of rubbish with a candlestick covered with 
the thick grease ot years, trying unsuccessfully to find one of his 
shorthand pamphlets in print. But to give us an idea of his system 
he drew to the table a flour pan covered with a board, and sitting 
down on it he produced a pencil and a piece of paper and for our 
benefit wrote in shorthand the following verse which he had seen 


in a sampler lately in a farm house and which had taken his fancy: 

A little health, 

A little wealth, 

A little house and freedom, 

And at the end 

A little friend 

And little cause to need him. 

This verse the Solitary wrote with extraordinary rapidity and 
conciseness. A dozen strokes and the thing was done. He said he 
had no opportunity of trying the new system of shorthand he had 
discovered except by writing his sermons in it. Looking round his 
habitation it seemed suddenly to occur to him that it was not just 
like other people's. *I am afraid*, he said, 'that I am not very tidy 
to-day/ A little girl, he told us, came to make his bed and tidy up, 
four days a week. Going to a dark corner he routed out three wine 
glasses which he washed carefully at the door. Then he rummaged 
out a bottle of wine and drawing up his flour pan to the table and 
taking his seat upon it he filled our glasses with some black mixture 
which he called I suppose port and bade us drink. 

The Solitary accompanied us to Pencommon to get the horse and 
then showed us the way down the lanes towards the Church. The 
people who met him touched their hats to his reverence with great 
respect. They recognized him as a very holy man and if the 
Solitary had lived a thousand years ago he would have been 
revered as a hermit and perhaps canonized as a Saint. At a gate 
leading into a lane we parted. There was a resigned look in his 
quiet melancholy blue eyes. The last I saw of him was that he was 
leaning on the gate looking after us. Then I saw him no more. He 
had gone back I suppose to his grey hut in the green cwm. 

The evening became lovely with a heavenly loveliness. The 
sinking sun shot along the green pastures with a vivid golden light 
and striking through the hedges here and there tipped a leaf or a 
foxglove head with a beam of brilliant green or purple. Down the 
steep stony lane by the ruined Church of Llanbedr, a team of horses 
came home to Llandeviron from plough with rattling chains. 

I crossed the Bach Wye by the short cut at Trewilad leaving 
Williams to ride round the longer way by Rhyd Ilydan and to cross 
the brook at the Broad Ford lower down. I stood upon the stepping 


stones at Trewilad to watch the litde herd of cows undriven coming 
lazily through the brook home to Trewilad to be millet The 
water, darkly bright, came flowing down and filling the cool 
shadowy lane, and the red and white cows loitered slowly down to 
the brook, standing still often in the shallow water as they forded 
the stream, and the air was full of sunshine and the honey scent of 
the charlock, and the hedges were luxuriant with the luscious 
sweetness of woodbine and the beauty of the stars of the deep red 

Monday, 8 July 

Reports coming in all day of the mischief done by yesterday's 
flood. Pigs, sheep, calves swept away from meadow and cot and 
carried down the river with hundreds of tons of hay, timber, hurdles 
and, it is said, furniture. The roads swept bare to the very lock. 
Culverts choked and blown up, turnips washed out of the ground 
on the hillsides, down into the orchards and turnpike roads. Four 
inches of mud in the Rhydspence Inn on the Welsh side of the 
border, the Sun, Lower Cabalva House flooded again and the car- 
pets out to dry. Pastures covered with grit and gravel and rendered 
useless and dangerous for cattle till after the next heavy rain. 

Tuesday , 9 Jw/y 

To-day I have been much moved. Just after we had finished 
lessons at the school at noon, the children deputed little Amy Evans 
the schoolmaster's daughter (of whom they know I am very fond)' 
to present to me a little box in which I found a beautiful gold pencil 
case to hang at my watch chain. My own precious lambs. They had 
of their own will saved up their money to give me this costly and 
beautiful present. They would not go to the fair and spend the 
money upon themselves. It was all to be 'for Mr. Kilvert . I tried 
to speak to tell them what I felt, but my heart was full. 

'Please not to forget us/ said the children. Dear children, there 
is no danger. I did not want this to help to keep you in mind. 

Thursday, njuly 

Took 3 bottles of Attar of Rose to Clyro Court for the three Miss 

'There is great mourning for you at Pen y cae/ said Mrs. Harris. 
'Why, do the children really care so much?* 'Ay, that day they 
gave you the pencil case the girl was crying and dazed all the evening. 


We could do nothing at all with her, and the boy is worse than her. 
"There'll be no one to come and teach us now," he says, "Air. 
Kilvert do come and tell us about all parts." ' I showed her the 
beautiful pencil case. But oh, Gipsy Lizzie dear, my own love, it 
doesn't make up to me for losing you. 

Friday, 12 July 
Daisy gave me a rose. 

Saturday, 13 July 
Left Hay. Reached Langley at 3 o'clock. 

Friday, 19 July 

Emily Ashe came here yesterday and to-day. This afternoon she 
got Fanny out under the acacia on the lawn, and suddenly demanded 
of her 'dear Christian sister' her spiritual experiences. 

Katie and the Monk 1 were in the habit of calling over the balusters 
'Bigglesy-buggles* to everyone who came up. They were told not 
to do it as it was not a nice word for them to use. Soon after Fanny 
was reading to them the story of David and Goliath and how 
Goliath 'cursed David by his gods'. The Monk asked what this 
meant. Fanny said Goliath said some naughty words. 'Do you 
think,' asked the Monk in a solemn and awestruck voice, *do you 
think, Auntie Fanny, the giant said "Bigglesy-buggles'Y 

Sunday , 21 July 

I took the whole morning and afternoon service and sermon, but 
my Father took part in the Holy Communion. I was very much 
annoyed at seeing the black bottle put upon the Table again by 
George Jef&ies. 

One of the Langley Burrell school children being asked, 'Who 
made the World?' replied, 'Mr. Ashe'. 

Tuesday, 23 July 

Perch and I went to spend the day at Brinkworth Rectory with 
the De Quettevilles. As we approached the Rectory door, we were 
seized with inextinguishable laughter which returned at intervals 
during the day. 

Mrs. De Quetteville pointed out to Teddy with great pride the 
pond of delicious water which supplied the house with drinking 
water. At that moment, as she was assuring him that the water was 

1 The children of Kflvert's sister Emily. 


perfectly pure, a large evet rose to the surface and stared at them 
while water spiders and amphibious beetles rowed about the pond. 
Monday, 5 August 

Left Langley and came to Clyro. I dined at the Vicarage and 
received a present of a magnificent writing desk, which I am writing 
upon now, the most beautiful and perfect I ever saw, of coromandel 
wood bound with brass, fitted with polished mahogany and con- 
taining two most secret drawers. 
Tuesday, 6 August 

Mrs. Pring was married to James Rogers last Thursday as quietly 
as possible. She would not allow the church bells to be rung, though 
the ringers entreated her to let them ring a peal, and she openly 
wished for rain that no one might be able to come to the wedding. 
Moreover she invited as few people as possible to the wedding dinner 
(not even her own mother-in-law) that she might not cause Mr. and 
Mrs. Venables any needless expense. It was with great difficulty that 
she was prevailed upon to go to Brecon for the night and to let her 
husband accompany her. Her own wish was that the bridegroom 
should return to his own house while she slept at the Vicarage as 
usual. She said she did not want any of that fuss and nonsense. She 
looked upon marriage as a religious thing. But Mrs. Venables repre- 
sented to her what a talk would be caused by such a proceeding, so 
she consented to go as a bride to Brecon for one night and to let the 
bridegroom go too. 

Thursday, 8 August 

This afternoon Tnomas Beavaa of Bryn yr hydd came to call, 
and directly he was gone a servant came from Clyro Court with a 
magnificent present from the Baskervilles, a travelling bag beauti- 
fully fitted, accompanied by a most kind and cordial letter from 
Baskerville himself. 
Saturday, 10 August 

This afternoon I went up the Old Forest road bidding the people 
Farewell. At the Well Cottage an old spinning wheel stood in the 
bow window, one of the few spinning wheels that are to be seen at 
work now. 

Dear Sophy Ferris, the warm-hearted Carmarthenshire woman 
at the old Forest farmhouse, overwhelmed me with bitter lamenta- 
tions at my departure. 'If gold would keep you with us/ she said, 


'we would gather a weight of gold/ What have I done? What am 
I that these people should so care for me? How little I have deserved 
it. Lord requite these people ten thousand fold into their bosom the 
kindness they have showed to the stranger. 

Monday, 12 Augutf 

This morning came an envelope by post containing a Bank of 
England note for 5 and an anonymous line on a scrap of paper 
*For the Revd. F. Kilvert's private use*. I don't know who sent it. 
Emily and Jenny Dew gave me a most kind and beautiful present, 
Wordsworth's Complete Works. 

Friday, 16 August 

The stories about the baboon of Maesllwch Castle grow more and 
more extraordinary. It is said that when visitors come to the Castle 
the creature descends upon their heads, clambering down the 
.balusters of the staircase. He put Baskerville and Apperley to flight, 
routed them horse and foot, so that they clapped spurs to their 
horses and galloped away in mortal fear, the baboon racing after 
them. He carries the cats up to the top of the highest Castle Tower, 
and drops them over into space, and it is believed that the baboon 
seeks an opportunity to carry the young heir up to the top of the 
Tower and serve him in the same way. 

Saturday, 17 August 

Once more for the last time I skirted the dear old Common carry- 
ing a great bunch of the purple heather blossoms to take to Wye 
Cliff to-night for Mrs. Cricnton. The sun shone hot and bright 
down into the little valley among the hills, upon the wild white 
marsh cotton and the purple heather and the bright green Osmunda 
ferns with their brown flower spikes, and upon the white shirt 
sleeves of the peat cutters working amongst the mawn pits on a 
distant part of the Common. It is a bad mawn harvest this year in 
consequence of the wet summer and what with the dear coal and 
bread and meat and the diseased potatoes, I don't know what the 
poor people will do. 

Monday, 19 August 
To-day I went to Llysdinam to spend a week. 

Saturday, St. Bartholomew's Day 
This morning I left Llysdinam for Clyro with Mi. Venables. As 


soon as we got to Clyro we were in the full swing of the School 
feast. My last in the dear old place. It all seemed very sad. And in 
the midst of the tea drinking on the Vicarage lawn the new curate 
Mr. Irvine arrived in the omnibus from Hay. It gave me a bitter 
pang, but I went down to Mrs. Chaloner's at once to see and 
welcome him. 

After the usual sport in the Cae Mawr Crichton sent up a most 
successful fire balloon which curiously enough went home again, 
descending in the garden at Wye Cliff, though to us watching its 
course from Cae Mawr the balloon seemed to have crossed the river 
and to have travelled at least as far as Llydyadyway. After the 
balloon had gone up I received a hint to go to the school which 
immediately after was thronged with people gentle and simple. 
Wall the Churchwarden mounted the schoolmaster's desk platform 
and made an admirable speech presenting me in the name of the 
parishioners with a testimonial of a magnificent silver cup. 

Then Holding, the butler at Clyro Court, came forward. He also 
made a very nice speech and gave me a beautiful inkstand from the 
servants and workmen at Clyro Court. I was deeply touched. I 
tried to say a few words, but my heart was full and I could not speak 
what I would. 

Along with the inkstand was given me a short written address 
followed by the autograph signatures of the subscribers, and with 
the cup was presented a thin green leather book with my initials 
stamped in gold on the cover. On the tide page Mrs. Crichton had 
painted an exquisite picture of Clyro Church and School and 
illuminated an address after which came the as fax as possible auto- 
graph signatures of the subscribers to the testimonial. 

Sunday, 25 August^ 

I read prayers in the morning. Irvine preached and Mr. Venables 
sat in his pew. Irvine and I walked to Bettws. It was my last visit 
to the dear old Chapel. Every tree and hill and hollow and glimpse 
of the mountains was precious to me, and I was walking with a 
stranger to whom it was nought, and who had no dear associations 
with the pkce. I took the whole service and preached a farewell 
sermon from Philippians i, 3 . 'I fbanlc my God upon every remem- 
brance of you.* 

It was for the last time. I could not help it. I burst into tears. 


After Chapel I went to the Chapel Farm and Llwyn Gwillim 
and to the Forge and sweet Emma of the Chapel Dingle to say 
Good-bye and then to Whitty's Mill, the dear old Mill, to see sweet 
dying Margaret. 

It was a sad sad day. 

Wednesday, 28 August 

Dined at Hay Castle. Mrs. Bevan and the girls gave me a splendid 
photograph album, and Cousie had painted me with kind and 
beautiful thoughtfulness a garland of heartsease encircling this text 
from Exodus xxxiii, 14: 'My Presence shall go with thee and I \rill 
give thee rest/ 

My last evening at Hay, a home to me for nearly 8 years, and its 
inmates like brothers and sisters. Good-bye and God bless and keep 
you all. 

Sunday, September Day 

My last day at Clyro, 

I read prayers in the morning and Irvine preached. Holy Com- 
munion. Irvine went to Chapel in the rain and would not put on 
leggings as I advised him. He came back wet and weary, saying there 
were a man, a woman and a boy in Chapel. In the afternoon I 
preached my farewell sermon at Clyro, the same that I preached at 
Bettws last Sunday. Though the afternoon was so rainy there were 
a good many people in Church. I don't know how I got through 
the service. It was the last time. My voice was broken and choked 
by sobs and tears, and I think the people in the Church were affected 
too. Richard Brooks in the choir was crying like a child. 

The last round thiough the village in the evening. *To~morrow 
to fresh woods and pastures new.* 

Monday, September Morrow 

Left Clyro for ever. A chapter of life closed and a leaf in the Book 
of Life turned over. The day I came to Clyro I remember fixing 
my eyes on a particular bough of an apple tree in the orchard oppo- 
site the school and the Vicarage and saying to myself that on the day 
I left Clyro I would look at that same branch. I did look for it this 
morning but I could not recognize it. All the dear people were 
standing in their cottage doors waving their hands as I drove away. 

As the train went down the valley of the Wye to Hereford I 
waved my handkerchief to all the old familiar friendly houses, to 

1872] THE MESMERIST 197 

Mrs. Bridge at Pont Vaen, to Annie Dyke at Upper Cabalva, to 
Rosie Hodgson at Lower Cabalva, and to Louisa Dew at Whitney 
Rector} 7 . 

Tuesday, 3 September 

When I opened my window at Langley Barrel] Rectory this 
morning the first sound I heard was the tapping of a nuthatch in 
an acacia. There had been a little rain in the night but the morning 
was fine. 

At 9,20 I left Chippenham to join the rest of the party, my 
mother, Dora, and the children Katie and Monk, at i Prince's 
Buildings, Weston, leaving my Father and Fanny alone at Langley. 

In the evening I had a bathe in the open sea for the first time for 
ten years and enjoyed it thoroughly. 

At 7.30 my Mother and I went to the Assembly rooms to a lecture 
on craniology and phrenology and mesmerism. A table full of 
skulls was set out and the lecture was given by a Mr. Hume. We had 
seen it advertised on the pier. He talked a good deal of wild non- 
sense and examined the heads of two or three of the audience whose 
moral and mental qualities he appraised highly. Then began the 
mesmerism. A number of men came up on the platform from the 
body of the room and offered themselves to be operated on. They 
were pkced in a semi-circle on chairs sitting with their faces to the 
wall and their backs to the audience. A young kdy went to the 
piano and began playing low soft dreamy music. The Mesmerist 
passed between his victims and the wall and after making a few 
passes over their faces and arms and looking intently into their eyes 
he soon had 8 out of the 10 prostrate on the floor in a mesmeric 
sleep. He took them by the hand and drew them after him, holding 
his hand against the side of their heads. 'Come, come,' he said 
authoritatively, and they followed as it seemed to me unwillingly, 
but unable to help themselves, though the Mesmerist used no vio- 
lence but appeared to draw them after him by the influence of a 
stronger will. 

I noticed that out of the 10 there were two middle-aged men 
whom the Mesmerist could make nothing of. But he had previously 
warned them and the audience that if the men resisted him and 
made up their minds they would not be mesmerized he could do 
nothing with them. 


The young men and lads (all apparently of the shopkeeper class) 
were now lying asprawl upon the floor in all attitudes and wrapped 
in a deep mesmeric sleep. They lay like dead men and as still as 
death, with a ghastly unnatural look in their faces and at the mercy of 
the Mesmerist. One by one he raised them up, stiffened them by a 
pass and wave of the hand and stamp of the foot and left them sway- 
ing to and fro, unable to fall down or lift a foot from the ground, 
telling them sternly as he turned away that they could not move. 
Then he bade them look at the stars and they all stood with their 
ghastly faces turned up gazing steadfastly at the ceiling. Suddenly 
he assured them they were cocks and commanded them to crow and 
flap their wings. Instantly they flapped their arms violently and 
crowed in every key. One man was then put up on a chair and 
ordered to sell an imaginary clock. He did it admirably. When in 
his senses he was apparently a lad of some humour. He took the 
bids quickly from the audience and was selling the clock smardy 
when the Mesmerist said, 'That isn't a clock. It's a donkey/ The 
lad looked unfounded for a moment and then brightened up and 
leading an imaginary donkey by an imaginary halter began to sell 
him. What he was really holding was a shawl bundled up. "That 
isn't a donkey,' said the Mesmerist. It's a child, nurse it.' The kd 
began to nurse the supposed child. But here a curious trait in his 
character came out. No sooner had the Mesmerist left him than a 
fury of hatred seemed to seize the lad and he dashed the child's head 
against the back of the chair. Perhaps he had a real hatred to infants 
which he could not conceal. 

Then the Mesmerist set them all waltzing in pairs, then rowing, 
then swimming for their lives, the imaginary boat having met with 
an imaginary upset. It was curious to watch the different modes of 
rowing and swimming. The Mesmerist invited one of the kds to 
strike at his hand, telling him he would not be able to strike him and 
strike him the lad could not though he tried his best and struck on 
all sides of the hand. 

At length the Mesmerist waved his hand in passes over the heads 
of the kds and shouted, *Wake, all of you!' In a moment the boys 
were all awake, rubbing their eyes, yawning, and stretching them- 
selves, as if they had just arisen from a sound sleep. One of them 
on being asked by the Mesmerist complained that his eyes were 


r 8 7 2] WESTON-SUPER-MARE 199 

the room to his place had the oppression taken off his eyes by a pass 
and wave of the hand. The Mesmerist said that now the young man 
was awake he could prevent him from lifting his feet from the floor 
and make him unable to strike, and though the young man laughing 
and struggling tried to do both, he could do neither. Hume said 
he had sometimes found this power very useful in street rows in 
preventing people from striking him. 

He asked the lads if they had ever seen him before or had any 
collusion with him and in the face of the audience they openly 
denied any knowledge of him. It seems they were all well-known 
young men from the town. The lads said they were perfectly aware 
all the time what they were doing, but they had no power to 

Hume showed us afterwards a curious instrument for gauging 
the intellect of the human head by taking an angle and measuring 
from it. 

Wednesday, 4 September 

Bathing in the morning before breakfast from a machine. Many 
people were openly stripping on the sands a little further on and 
running down into the sea, and I would have done the same but I 
had brought down no towels of my own. 

At 7 o'clock this evening my Mother, Dora and I walked up to 
Trinity Church and heard Mr. Hunt preach. During the service the 
lightning looked in at the windows and shamed the gas while from 
the town far below came up on the still sultry air the strains of the 
Italian band. 

Thursday, 5 September 

I was out early before breakfast this morning bathing from the 
sands. There was a delicious feeling of freedom in stripping in the 
open air and running down naked to the sea, where the waves were 
curling white with foam and the red morning sunshine glowing 
upon the naked limbs of the bathers. 

[Kilvert returns to Langley Burrdl.] 
Monday -, 16 September 

At 6 o'clock this evening a large balloon, striped red and blue, 
passed over this house very high in the air, almost a mile high it 'was 
said. It looked very small and we could not see the car. There was 
one man in it and he kept on sending down parachutes and emptying 


sandbags. The balloon was rapidly travelling eastwards in a straight 
line, but it had previously been veering about a good deal in various 
currents of air, passing over the Plough before it came to us. The 
balloon started from Bristol where there was a great Conservative 
demonstration and came down at Yatesbury. 

The Yatesbury people were terrified when they saw the balloon 
descending and some ran away and some stared. But the aeronaut 
could get no one to help him or catch hold of the grappling ropes 
to steady the balloon, so it came down bump and bounced up again. 
At last it was secured and packed, and the aeronaut found board 
and bed at the Parsonage. It was said that he had made 30 ascents 

Friday, 27 September 

Maria told us the story of Anne Kilvert and the cat, and the 
Epiphany Star. It seems that when Aunt Sophia was dying Anna 
thought some mutton would do her good and went to fetch some. 
When she came back the nurse said, 'She can't eat mutton. She's 
dying*. Anna, put the mutton down on the floor and rushed to the 
bed. At that moment Aunt Sophia died and Anna turned round to 
see the cat running away with the mutton and the Epiphany Star 
shining in through the window. 

Wednesday, 9 October 

Mrs. HaddreU showed me a brown linnet in her room and she said 
she had a lark 'but he makes no charm now'. 

Monday, 14 October 

Last night I had a strange and horrible dream. It was one of those 
curious things, a dream within a dream, like a picture within a pic- 
ture. I dreamt that I dreamt that Mr. and Mrs. Venables tried to 
murder me. We were all together in a small room and they were 
both trying to poison me, but I was aware of their intention and 
baffled them repeatedly. At length, Mr. Venables put me off my 
guard, came round fondling me, and suddenly clapping his hand on 
my neck behind said, It's of no use, Mr. Kilvert. You're done for'. 
I felt the poison beginning to work and burn in my neck. I knew it 
was all over and started up in fury and despair. I flew at him 
savagely. The scene suddenly changed to the organ loft in Harden- 
huish Church. Mr. Venables, seeing me coming at him, burst out 
at the door. Close outside the door was standing the Holy Ghost. 


He knocked him from the top to the bottom of the stairs, rolling 
over head over heels, rushed downstairs himself, mounted his horse 
and fled away, I after him. 

This dream within a dream excited me to such a state of fury, that 
in the outer dream I determined to murder Mr. Venables. Accord- 
ingly I lay in wait for him with a pickaxe on the Vicarage lawn at 
Clyro, hewed an immense and hideous hole through his head, and 
kicked his face till it was so horribly mutilated, crushed and dis- 
figured as to be past recognition. Then the spirit of the dream 
changed. Mrs. Venables became her old natural self again. 'Wasn't 
it enough,' she said, looking at me reproachfully, 'that you should 
have hewed that hole through his head, but you must go and kick 
his face so that I don't know him again?' At this moment, Mr. 
Bevan, the Vicar of Hay, came in. well,' he said to me, 'you have 
done it now. You have made a pretty mess of it.' 

All this time I was going about visiting the sick at Clyro and 
preaching in Clyro Church. But I saw that people were beginning 
to look shy at me and suspect me of the murder which had just been 
discovered. I became so wretched and conscience-stricken that I 
could bear my remorse no longer in secret and I went to give myself 
up to a policeman, who immediately took me to prison where I was 
keot in chains. Then the full misery of my position burst upon me 
and the ruin and disgrace I had brought on my family. 'It will kill 
my father,* I cried in an agony of remorse and despair. 

I knew it was no dream. This at last was a reality from which I 
should never awake. I had awaked from many evil dreams and 
horrors and found them unreal, but this was a reality and horror 
from which I should never awake. It was all true at last. I had com- 
mitted a murder. I calculated the time. I knew the Autumn 
Assizes were over and I could not be tried till the Spring. 'The 
Assizes,' I said, 'will come on in March and I shall be hung early in 
April.' And at the words I saw Mrs. Venables give a shudder of 

When I woke I was so persuaded of the reality of what I had seen 
and felt and done in my dreams that I felt for the handcuffs on my 
wrists and cbuld not believe I was in bed at home till I heard the 
old clock on the stairs warn and then strike five. 

Nothing now seems to me so real and tangible as that dream was, 
and it seems to me as I might wake up at any moment and find 


everything shadowy, fleeting and unreal. I feel as if life is a dream 
from which at any moment I may awake. 

Sunday, 20 October 

A dark wet day. I read prayers in the morning and a Declaration 
of Assent to the Prayer Book and Articles on being licensed to the 
Curacy of Langley Burrell. I think this proclamation rather 
astonished the people. 

Thursday, 24 October 

A wild wet morning. Charles Awdry of Draycot came over to 
call on me this afternoon, and I walked back with him as far as Cold 
Harbour. He told me he once said to Lord Cowley at Draycot 
House, 'My ancestors owned this estate when yours were peasants'. 
*It is true', Lord Cowley said. 'We are only a hundred years old/ 

Sunday, 27 October 

I have rarely seen Langley Church and Churchyard look more 
beautiful than they did this morning. The weather was lovely and 
round the quiet Church the trees were gorgeous, the elms dazzling 
golden and the beeches burning crimson. The golden elms illu- 
minated the Church and Churchyard with strong yellow light and 
the beeches flamed and glowed with scarlet and crimson fire like 
the Burning Bush. The place lay quiet in the still autumn sunshine. 
Then the latch of the wicket gate tinkled and pretty Keren Wood 
appeared coming along the Church path under the spreading 
boughs of the wide larch, and in the glare of yellow light the bell 
broke solemnly through the golden elms that stood stately round 
the Church. 

To-day we had one of those soft, still, dreamy, golden afternoons 
peculiar to Autumn. 

Monday, 28 October 

This afternoon I cleaned the harness entirely myself and sent it 
out smarter and brighter than it has been I think for years. 

Wednesday, 30 October 

Called on the Dallins, the new people at Langley Lodge, and 
found both Captain and Mrs. Dallin were out riding. 

Monday, 25 November 

The old Manor House of Langley Burrell used to stand on the 
knoll just beyond the fishpond below the terrace walk, where an 

I87 a] OLD CHIT CHAT 203 

oak stands now. The new Manor House was built about 100 years 
ago by Robert Ashe, Rector of the Parish and Lord of the Manor, 
my great-great-grandfather. The stones for the new houses were 
hewn by an old man named Old Chit Chat. "When he got his pay 
he would go down the ancient footpath by Pen Hills House tossing 
a coin with himself to see whether his beUy or his back should get 
the benefit of his wages. If the back won the toss Old Chit Chat 
would toss again to give the poor belly one more chance. The game 
generally ended by his going to the public house. 

Friday, 29 November 

The Imngites are all in a flutter of expectation and excitement. 
They believe that Christ has already come and is at Glasgow working 

Miss Mewburn whom I met at the Kerrys* this evening lent me 
a pamphlet by Edward Hine on the identity of the English nation 
with the ten lost tribes of Israel. It is a grand idea and an interesting 
and exciting surmise. We 'stared at each other with a wild surmise*. 
I only hope it is true. It would be a glorious truth. 

Miss Mewburn went to the Agricultural Meeting at the Town 
Rail at Chippenham yesterday and came away furious at the 
patronizing manner in which the labourers were preached at and 
the way in which the poor old people were kept standing during 
the whole meeting, while 'their betters' (?) were comfortably seated 
in cushioned chairs. She wished she could have lifted up her voice 
and borne witness against the proceedings. And I very heartily 
sympathize with her feelings. 

Monday, December Morrow 

To-day we had a luncheon party to meet the Dallins. Mrs. 
Dallin looked very nice. She was exquisitely dressed in rich black 
silk with loose open sleeves. Poor child, she confided to Fannie 
that she was very dull. Hardly anyone had been to see her. 

Tuesday, 3 December 
My thirty-third birthday. 

Friday, 6 December 

Dined with the Dallins at Langley Lodge. A handsome and most 
hospitable entertainment and a very pleasant friendly evening. Two 
soups, champagne and curacoa. 

204 KILVERT'S DIARY [D ec . 

Sunday, 8 December 

The morning had been lovely, but during our singing practice 
after evening Church at about half past four began the Great Storm 
of 1872. Suddenly the wind rose up and began to roar at the Tower 
window and shake the panes and lash the glass with torrents of rain. 
It grew very dark. The storm increased and we struggled home in 
torrents of rain and tempests of wind so fearful that we could hardly 
force our way across the Common to the Rectory. All the evening 
the roaring S.W. wind raged more and more furious. It seemed as 
if the windows on the west side of the house must be blown in. 
The glass cracked and strained and bent and the storm shrieked and 
wailed and howled like multitudes of lost spirits. I went out to see 
where the cows were, fearing that the large elms in the Avenue 
might fall and crush them. The trees were writhing, swaying, 
rocking, lashing their arms wildly and straining terribly in the 
tempest but I could not see that any were gone yet. The twin firs 
in the orchard seemed the worst off, they gave the wind such a 
power and purchase, with their heavy green boughs, and their tops 
were swaying fearfully and bending nearly double under the 
tremendous strain. The moon was high and the clouds drove wild 
and fast across her face. Dark storms and thick bkck drifts were 
hurrying up out of the west, where the Almighty was making the 
clouds His chariot and walking upon the wings of the wind. Now 
and then the moon looked out for a moment wild and terrified 
through a savage rent in the storm. ' 

The cows were safe in the cowyard and the door shut, though 
how I cannot tell. They must have gone there for shelter and it 
seemed as if the Lord had shut them in. As I stood at the cowyard 
gate leading. into the field I was almost frightened at the fury of the 
wind, the blasts were so awful that I feared one of the great elms 
must fall. Sometimes the tempest rose to such a furious and un- 
governable pitch as if hell had been let loose, that it seemed as if 
something must go, and as if the very world itself must give way 
and be shattered to atoms. The very beasts seemed frightened and 
the dog lay close in his kennel and would not come out. I went 
rcfuhd^to the front of the house and stood on the stone steps and 
Svondered at the wind and thought of the poor people on Clyro 
Hill and prayed for those at sea. 'For at his word the stormy wind 
ariseth which lifteth up the waves thereof.' The whole world 

18?2 ] A POUND OF BUTTER 205 

seemed to be groaning and straining under the press of that dreadful 
wind. All the evening the wind roared and thundered and the 
tempest grew wilder and more wild, and if damage was done we 
could not hear it. Everything was drowned in the roar and thunder 
of the storm. The wind howled down the chimney, the room was 
full of smoke and every now and then the fire flaught out into the 
room in tongues of flame beaten down with a smother of sparks 
and smoke. 

Monday, 16 December 

Dame Matthews used to live at the Home Farm at Langley 
Burrell. She was a member of the family, but she must have lived 
a long time ago, as Mrs. Banks remarked, because she called cows 
Icine'. The Dame used to sit in the chimney cornei and near her 
chair there was a little window through which she could see all 
down the dairy. One evening she saw one of the farm men steal 
a pound of butter out of the dairy and put it into his hat, at the same 
moment clapping his hat upon his head. 

'John/ called die Dame. 'John, come here. I want to speak to 
you.' John came, carefully keeping his hat on his head. The Dame 
ordered some ale to be heated for him and bade him sit down in 
front of the roaring fire. John thanked his mistress and said he would 
have the ale another time, as he wanted to go home at once. 

'No, John. Sit you down by the fire and drink some hot ale. 
'Tis a cold night and I want to speak to you about the kine.' 

The miserable John, daring neither to take off his hat nor go 
without his mistress's leave, sat before the scorching fire drinking 
his hot ale till the melting butter in his hat began to run down all 
over his face. The Dame eyed him with malicious fun. 'Now, 
John/ she said, 'you may go. I won't charge you anything for the 

Tuesday, New Years Eve 

My Mother says the old Langley people always used to say that 
the Langley Burrell bells rang these words, 'My cow's tail's long, my 
cow's tail's long.' 


Tuesday, 7 January 

At 8 o'clock Fanny, Dora and I went to a jolly party at Sir John 
Awdry's at Norton House. Almost everybody in the neighbour- 
hood was there. There had been a children'^ party with a Christmas 
Tree at 5 o'clock, but when we drove up the harp and the fiddles 
were going. 

I danced a Lancers with Harriet Awdry of Draycot Rectory, a 
quadrille with Sissy Awdry of Seagry Vicarage, a Lancers with 
Louise Awdry of Draycot Rectory, a Lancers with Mary Rooke of 
the Ivy, and Sir Roger with dear little Francie Rooke of the Ivy. 
How bright and pretty she looked, so merry, happy and full of fun. 
It was a grand Sir Roger. I never danced such a one. The room was 
quite full, two sets and such long lines, but the crush was all the 
more fun. 'Here,' said Francie Rooke to me quietly, with a wild, 
merrie sparkle in her eye, and her face brilliant with excitement, 
let us go into the other set*. There was more fun going on there, 
Eliza Stiles had just fallen prostrate. There were screams of laughter 
and the dance was growing quite wild. There was a struggle for 
the corners and everyone wanted to be at the top. In a few minutes 
all order was lost, and everyone was dancing wildly and promis- 
cuously with whoever came to hand. The dance grew wilder and 
wilder. 'The pipers loud and louder blew, the dancers quick- and 
quicker flew/ Madder and madder screamed the flying fiddle bows. 
Sir Roger became a wild romp till the fiddles suddenly stopped dead 
and there was a scream of laughter. Oh, it was such fun and Francie 
Rooke was brilliant. When shall I have another such partner as 
Francie Rooke? 

An excellent supper and we got home about one o'clock, on a 
fine moonlit night. 

Thursday, 9 January 

^The earthly troubles of the exiled Emperor are over. At eleven 
o'clock this morning Napoleon m passed away at Camden House, 
Chislehurst. He died very suddenly and quietly. He had undergone 
several severe operations by Sir Henry Thompson for crushing the 
stone in the bladder. Another operation, the last, was contemplated, 
and the symptoms and condition of the patient were all favourable 


Ig73 ] CAWNPORE 207 

when suddenly at 10 o'clock this morning to the surprise of the 
doctors the pulse fluttered and in a few minutes Napoleon breathed 
his last quietly and without pain. It is supposed that a clot of blood 
rose to the heart and suffocated him. 

It has been a life of marvellous vicissitudes and the most wonderful 
romance since that of Charles Edward. 

Saturday, n January 

Dora went to Langley House and found poor Syddy Ashe in 
agonies of grief at the Emperor's death. 

Sunday, 12 January 

When I came out the night was superb. The sky was cloudless, 
the moon rode high and rufl in the deep blue vault and the evening 
star blazed in the west. The air was filled with the tolling and 
chiming of bells from St. Paul's and Chippenham old Church. The 
night was soft and still and I walked up and down the drive several 
times before I could make up my mind to leave the wonderful 
beauty of the night and go indoors. To be alone out of doors on a 
still soft clear moonlit night is to me one of the greatest pleasures 
that this world can give. 

Monday, 13 January 

Susan took a great interest in the Emperor and his death. The 
post mortem shows the kidneys to have been so extensively diseased 
that life could not have been much prolonged. 

Wednesday, is January 

A satisfactory lecture. I spoke about Noah's vineyard and 
drunkenness, the Tower of Babel, Babylon and the confusion of 
tongues, the Tongue Tower, the death of the Emperor Napoleon El 
and the Great Coram Street Murder. 

Wednesday, 22 January 

Visited the Coughs. Cough came in. He is a pensioner. He was 
in the ipth Regiment and directly after landing in England after 
the Crimean War volunteered to go to India at the time of the 
Indian Mutiny. He landed at Calcutta and his regiment marched 
through Cawnpore 48 hours after the Massacre. He said the scene 
was horrible, so horrible, shocking and disgusting that it could not 
be explained or described. Women's breasts had been chopped and 
sliced off and were still lying about with their other parts which 


had been cut out. Women were cut to pieces and mutilated in a 
vile and shocking manner. The most devilish and beastly ingenuity 
had been at work in mutilating the persons and violating and dis- 
honouring the parts of the poor creatures. A child's head had been 
cut off and was lying on the ground with the lips placed by a devilish 
jest as if sucking the breast of a woman which had also been chopped 
off. Numbers of the poor women had jumped down the great well 
with their children to avoid the horrors which were being per- 
petrated on the bodies of women all over the place. The soldiers 
were furious, almost ungovernable, as they marched through Ca~wn- 
pore and saw those shameful sights. If they had caught the rebels 
then no mercy would have been shown to those who showed none. 
The scene of shameful horror was indescribable. Gough saw 500 
mutineers executed at once, the rank and file shot by musketry, the 
ringleaders blown from guns. One stout fellow stepped lightly up 
to his gun as unconcernedly, said Gough, *as you or I would go into 
Service'. *I have killed the English,* said the ruffian, 'and I don't care 
for death.' Those who were blown from guns were tied with their 
arms fastened tightly to the wheels and their chests pressing against 
the muzzles of tie cannon. A small square piece of wood was hung 
round their necks and came between the chest of the men and the 
muzzle of the gun. At the discharge the man was blown all to 
fragments but his arms remained tied to the wheels of the gun. 
To-night the starlit sky was a glorious spectacle. 

Thursday, 23 January 

After I had been at the school I went at ten o'clock to Langley 
House to beard the lion in his den. I found Mr. and Mrs. Ashe in 
the dining room. She had just finished reading The Times to him. 
I plunged at once in medias res. He said that he wished the money 
could be procured in the old-fashioned way by the ancient machinery 
of Church rate, and so much the worse for those who refused to 
pay. The Squire begged that the Church should not be washed 
with yellow ochre. I got his consent to the Communion Service 
being read from the altar, and Mrs. Ashe backed me up stanchly and 
proposed that two chaks should be got to stand within the rails. 
The Squire seemed rather surprised at the idea of a clergyman 
sitting within the rails during the service and thought that he should 
not 'lounge* in a chair. 


Friday, February Eve 

When I came home last night at half past twelve I was surprised 
by seeing lights still burning in the house and Dora let me in. I 
never saw my dear sister look so pretty. A black cloak was thrown 
round her and her bright hair fell like a cloud over her shoulders. 
She had been playing chess with my Father. The fire was still 
burning in the- dining room. We stood a few minutes to warm 
ourselves. Then a shower of sweet kisses and I sent the dear pretty 
girl to bed. 

Tuesday, 4 February 

Sat an hour with John and Hannah Hatherell at tea. I read to 
them and they told me the story of the terrible faction fight between 
the men at Chippenham and the men of the two Langleys [ ] 

years ago, in which two Chippenham men were killed, Hall the 
saddler and Reynolds the tinman. The quarrel between Chippen- 
ham and the Langleys had been long brewing and there was bad 
blood and a bitter feud between the town and the two villages. It 
was the fault of Chippenham. They began it. A lot of Chippenham 
blackguards had been in the habit of ill-using and beating the 
Langley men whenever the country folk came into the town on the 
market day which was then Saturday. Things came to such a pass 
that the Langley people could not enter the town without being 
abused and knocked about and they were afraid to go to market. 
This state of things was not to be borne and the men of Langley 
Fitzurse arranged to go into Chippenham in force on a certain 
market day and avenge their insults and injuries. A number of 
Langley Burrell men joined them and the united force armed with 
sticks and bludgeons and numbering perhaps from 30 to 40 men 
entered the town on a market day, Saturday afternoon. Some folk 
say it was a cunning plot and that the whole scheme was precon- 
certed, but at all events what happened was this. After some fierce 
fighting in the streets with fists, sticks and stones, after many heads 
had been broken and some blood had been spilt the Langley men 
retreated up the hill in a body as far as the Little George where a 
turnpike then stood. Here they stood. The Chippenham men 
taunted and reviled them and called to come on like men and not 
to run home like women. The Langley men having gained their 
purpose and having drawn their enemies out of the town now turned 


fiercely and charged upon them down the hill. The stones flew lite 
hail. Strong men were beaten down. Eyes were knocked out and 
the road ran with blood. The Chippenham blackguards were 
driven back pell-mell in wild confusion into the town, the 30 or 40 
Langley men driving a mob of 200 before them like sheep. The 
scene 'in the streets was fearful. One of the Chippenham black- 
guaids had his eye knocked out with a stone. But unhappily inno- 
cent men suffered with the guilty. Hull the saddler and Reynolds 
the tinman came out to quell the riot. They got into the mob and 
were irresistibly and helplessly borne away by the crowd down the 
Bath road by the Ivy, in which direction the fight was surging. They 
were never able to regain their houses and were both filled. Hull 
was set up dead upon the 'turn train' (turnstile) going to Beck Avon 
Bridge between Chippenham and the Ivy where the posts stand now. 
A Langley man found Reynolds lying on the ground with his head 
almost beaten to pieces and raised the poor fellow's head on his 
knee, but the hair and skin and flesh came off in flakes when it was 
touched. Reynolds only spoke one word. *Mountjoy/ he muttered. 
Mountjoy was a Langley man and it was always supposed that he 
gave the fatal blow but no one knows. 

Jerry Knight, the carpenter at the top of Huntsman's Hill, was 
Constable and Mr. Sheppard of the Brewery was 'Tyddyman' of 
the parish. On this Saturday night John Hatherell had been brewing 
for Mr. Sheppaid and on Sunday morning as he was at the Brewery 
he suddenly saw the courtyard filled with people from Chippenham 
and the constables were going about among the cottages making 
arrests of the Langley men who were suspected of having been 
engaged in the riot overnight. Old John Thomas the carpenter, 
then a lusty young man, ran down to John HatherelTs cottage and 
leaned up against the dresser as white as a sheet. Hannah asked him 
if he had been in the fight. 'No/ he said. But he had, and he was 
arrested, tried, and sent to jail. Fanner Matthews of Rawlings and 
Henry Knight were both in the riot and had to go to jail. 

The prisoners were kept at a public house in Chippenham waiting 
their turn for examination and trial and Hannah Hatherell looked 
through the window and saw them all chained to a long iron bar. 

Scarcely any of the Chippenham men were arrested and examined. 
Most of the blackguards got off scot-free. And this was most unjust 
because they began the quarrel and the Langley men would never 


come into Chippenham to fight unless they had been terribly pro- 
voked. The poor Langley fellows too were beaten black and blue 
and fearfully knocked about. 

John Hatherell said that old Langley Common was once a great 
play place on Sunday, and on Sunday afternoons football and 
hockey and other games went on all over the common. The Revd. 
Samuel Ashe, then Rector of Langley Burrell, used to come round 
quietly under the trees and bide his time till the football came near 
him when he would catch up the ball and pierce the bladder with a 
pin. But some of the young fellows would be even with the parson 
for they would bring a spare bladder, blow it, and soon have the 
football flying again. 

Wednesday, 5 February 

A scanty audience at the lecture but it was a wet, dirty night. I 
spoke of heroism and self-sacrifice instanced by the stories of Tom 
Flynn of Virginia, Jim Bludso the engineer of the Mississippi steam 
boat, the Birkenhead and the drunken private of the BufB. 
Friday, 7 February 

Coal stfll rising. ^2.11. a ton in London now. We are burning 
coke with wood and find it answers very well. The poor people 
are very badly off for coal. Hie coal famine is becoming most 
serious. And the colliers' strike in South Wales seems to have 
entered upon a desperately bitter and obstinate struggle with the 
masters, a struggle to be fought out now to the death and till one 
party or the other is utterly exhausted. Meanwhile innocent men, 
non-unionists, and women and children are dying of cold and 

Monday, 10 February 

My Mother says that at Dursley in Gloucestershire, when kdies 
and gentlemen used to go out to dinner together on dark nights, 
the gentlemen pulled out the tails of their shirts and walked before 
to show the way and light the kdies. These were called Dursley 

Tuesday, n February 

A letter from Mr. Venables fiom Clyro asking me if my Father 
could spare me to come to Clyro and take charge of the Parish from 
March 3rd to March 22nd as Irvine leaves at the end of February 
and he himself wants to be in London during part of March. I 


wrote immediately to say 'yes'. How pleasant it will be seeing the 
dear old place and people again. 

Wednesday, 19 February 

At 2 o'clock came up to London third class with a foot wanner to 
stay till next Tuesday with the Venables at 35 Eaton Square. 

Thursday, 20 February 

A thick yellow fog all day. London very dark and it was of no 
use to go to see pictures. 

Went to Somerset House. Found Jack in his room in the Legacy 
Duty Office. Mr. Venables asked him to dinner on Saturday next. 
I gave him my musical box to take to Metzler's to be mended and 
as I pulled it out of my pocket the box began to play to my dire con- 
fusion and could not be stopped till it had finished its tune. 

Mi. Venables took me over the Oxford and Cambridge Club 
where I saw Mr. Franklin Lushington. l 

At 9 o'clock I went to a debate at the House of Commons. An 
Irish member complained bitterly that when Irish affairs came on 
the English and Scotch members absented themselves from the 

Monday, 24 February 

Some inches of snow fell this morning early and the travelling in 
the streets was bad and heavy, the cabs charging double and even 
treble fares. I went to the Bethnal Green Museum and was delighted 
with the beautiful collection of pictures and china belonging to Sir 
Richard Wallace. Went to Bethnal Green and returned in heavy 
snow. As we went the omnibus wheels stuck fast in a drain and we 
all got out to lighten the load. Came back on the top of an omnibus 
on the box seat alongside of a pleasant good-natured soldier who was 
grateful foi the shelter of my umbrella. 

Shrove Tuesday, 25 February 
Returned to Langley. 

Ash Wednesday, 26 February 

My dear Father's birthday. My Father read the Commination 
from the pulpit. 

1 A Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and a friend of Tennyson and of 


Friday, March Eve 

I went to Hardenhuish House. Between St. Paul's Church and 
the Lodge an old man stood by the way-side begging. He was 
quite blind, and beside him stood a pretty little girl, his grand- 
daughter, with curling chestnut hair and beautiful roguish merry 
eyes. She had gathered some primroses and stuck them in her 
brown straw hat. And when I came up the child pretended to be 
shy, got behind her grandfather and seemed to be looking along the 
bank for more flowers. I stopped and spoke to the old man. 'I am 
fourscore,' he said. 'For sixty years I worked at the blast furnaces 
and the fire was too strong for my eyes. I came out here to stand 
and try if I could gather a few coppers as it is market day/ 

Monday, 3 March 

Returned to Clyro to take charge of the parish for three weeks, 
two Sundays for Mr. Venables. 

Reached Hay at 1.18 and going to the Castle joined the Bevans 
at luncheon. As I walked over to Clyro I overtook Mrs. Williams 
of Little Wern y Pentre hobbling home with her stick, and Hannah. 
She was almost overcome and besought me to stay with them and 
never to leave them again. 'You know what we want,* she said. 
'We want you to live at the Vicarage.' Alas, it is not in my power. 
At the school the dear children were on the look out for me. After- 
noon school was just over and they were clustering in the play- 
ground and some walking along the road towards the Hay such 
exclamations of delight and smiles of loving welcome and faces 
lighted up and flushed with pleasure. It was very touching to be so 
welcomed back. Mrs. Rogers (Pring) makes me most comfortable 
at the Vicarage and quite spoils me. 

Tuesday, 4 March 

I have the bedroom at the Vicarage looking towards the south 
and the mountains. How sweet once more to see the morning spread 
upon the mountains. 

Mrs. Chaloner says I must put myself in a cage to-day or the old 
women will tear me to pieces for joy. I have been villaging all day. 
The welcome of the people is very touching. 

There are changes in Clyro since I left. Six or seven of the old 
familiar faces have passed away in those six months. Dear little lily 
Crighton, aged 7 years, and the patriarch William Williams of 


Crowther's Pool, aged fourscore years and ten, William Price 
of the Stocks House, aged 85 years, and sweet Margaret Gore of 
Whitty's Mill in the bloom of her youth and 20 years. Edward 
Evans has left us, having just fulfilled his three-score years and ten. 
The troubles of poor mad Margaret Meredith (entered in the Burial 
Register of the Parish as Margaret Mulready) have ended in her 
62nd year. And the sufferings of John Powell the blacksmith closed 
when he wanted but two years to complete the 'days of our age'. 
There are changes too in the landscape of Clyro for the trees have 
all been felled on the Castle mound which now looks bare and 

Wednesday, 5 March 

After Church I went to see Hannah Whitney and she received the 
Holy Communion for the first time at the age of fourscore years 
and ten. 

Fri day, 7 March 

. In the afternoon I drove to Whitney Rectory in the dog-cart to 
dine and sleep. An April day and showers and shine with exquisitely 
clear views of the mountains and two beautiful rainbows. Before 
dinner Emily, Jane and Arrnine Dew walked with me up through 
the steep hanging wood above the railway, carpeted with primroses 
upbreaking through the earth. After dinner Henry Dew told us 
some of his old hunting reminiscences of the days when he rode with 
the Maesllwch fox-hounds. 

Charles Lacy was out with the Radnorshire and West Hereford- 
shire fox-hounds when they met at Cabalva last Wednesday. He 
gave an amusing description of the run. Old Tom Evans, the 
tailor, of Cwm Ithel on Clyro Hill, was once a ninning huntsman 
with the Clyro harriers, and very keen after the sport. When he 
heard the hunting horns along the hill on Wednesday the old hunt- 
ing instinct in him awoke like a giant refreshed. He scrambled on 
to his old pony and rode furiously into the middle of the pack hat in 
hand hooping and holloing and laying the hounds on to the scent 
asofjrore. Colonel Price the M.F.H. was greatly enraged. 'Man! 
Man! he shouted. 'Where are you going, man? Come from those 
hounds!* But the tailor maddened with the chase was deaf to all 
entreaties and commands. He careered along among and over the 
hounds, hooping, holloing and waving his hat till the enraged 


M.F.H. charged him and knocked tailor and pony head over heels. 
Nothing daunted however the tailor scrambled on to his beast 
again and he and his pony were second in at the death, close at the 
heels of the M.F.H. 

Charles Lacy said the bag fox had been kept in a dark cellar so 
long that he was dazed and half blind when he was turned out. 
After they had killed the bag fox they tried for a wild one at 
Dolbedwyn, where some poultry had been stolen by a fox. 

Saturday, 8 March 

At eleven o'clock the dog-cart came for me with the chestnut old 
Rocket, and I returned to Clyro. 

Amelia Meredith tells me that at Llanhollantine people used to 
go to the church door at midnight to hear the saints within call 
over the names of those who were to die within the year. Also they 
heard the sound of the pew doors opening and shutting though no 
one was in the church. 

Tuesday, n March 

To-night was the last Clyro Penny Reading of the season. The 
programme was fair but the attendance small, only 14/5 taken at 
the door. Charlie Powell had proposed to sing two songs, one per- 
fectly unobjectionable and even nice, the other low and coarse. To 
the latter I objected strongly, refused to sit by and heai it sung, and 
threatened to leave the choir and the platform. Charlie Powell 
turned rusty and sulky when I proposed that he should substitute 
another song for the objectionable one and refused to sing either. 
Not only so, but he tried to raise a disturbance at the Readings by 
calling out, romping, and making insulting remarks. John Vaughan 
very properly went down the room to the policeman who very 
quietly and ignominiously put Master Charlie out of the room and 
now Charlie is the laughing stock of the village. 

Saturday, 15 March 

I caught a chill yesterday in the snow at Emmeline's grave and 
tossed all night in a fever. 

I had heard that "William Meredith of the Tump just above 
Whitty's Mill was very sick, and going to the house I found him 
dying. As I sat talking with the dying man and as we knelt round 
the bed the tempest shook the old house and roared in the roof so 


as almost to drown my voice, and the dying man rolled his eyes 
wildly in the darkness of the curtained hed. 

A bitter east wind blew furiously over the hills as I stood at the 
exposed door of Llwyn Gwillim. 

At the lone cottage in the Chapel Dingle my dear friend sweet 
Emma Griffiths was almost beside herself with delight when I 
opened the door. But her joy was soon turned into sorrow. I had 
not many minutes to stay and when I rose to go poor Emma clasped 
my hands in 'both of hers, gave me a long loving look and turned 
away with a burst of weeping, in a passion of tears. What is it? 
What is it? What do they all mean? It is a strange and terrible gift, 
this power of stealing hearts and exciting such love. 

At the new Chapel Farm I found Wall and his wife at home and 
little Nellie ky lovingly in my arms. 

I ran down to Cabdva and called at Whitcombe's at the Bronith. 
Saw Mrs. Watkeys and kissed her two beautiful grandchildren as 
the girls sat together by the fire. 

Found Mrs. Potts the keeper's wife among the tubs surrounded 
by naked girls and boys whom she was washing and putting to bed. 
Spent a quarter of an hour, my last, with the old soldier John Morgan 
and his wife Mary, and reached home just in time for dinner at 
Cae Mawr with the Morrells, almost worn out with running, talk- 
ing, and different emotions. I had been obliged to run almost all 
the way between the various houses. 

Sunday, 16 March 

The bitter cold east wind yesterday ended in a heavy fall of snow 
this morning about 4 inches on the level of the Vicarage lawn. 
Scarcely any people were at Church at either service. 

The madness, cloud and delirium I trust has passed away at 
length. 'And it came to pass that when the devil was gone out the 
dumb spake.' I can write again now. 

At Gipsy Castle I found Sally Whitney sitting with Mary Jones 
and Caroline Price. Sally said she remembered the old Clyro stocks 
and whipping post which stood by the village pound in front of 
their door. She had often seen people in the stocks and once she saw 
a sweep whipped by the parish constable for using foul language at 
the Swan. When people were put in the stocks it was generally for 
rioting and using bad language at the Swan, and fighting. Sally does 

j873] J IM OF THE DINGLE 217 

not remember if the sweep was stripped naked to be whipped. 

Monday, 17 March 

Old James Jones the sawyer of the Infant School told me that he 
remembers a reprobate drunken fellow named James Davies, but 
nicknamed ']im of the Dingle* being put in the stocks at Clyro by 
Archdeacon Venables and the parish constable. This Jim of the 
Dingle had a companion spirit as wicked as himself. And both of 
them belonged to the Herefordshire Militia. So when the Arch- 
deacon and the Constable had gone away leaving Jim in the stocks, 
Jim's friend brought an axe and beat the stocks all to pieces and let 
the prisoner out. The two worthies fled away to Hereford to the 
militia and never returned to Clyro. But the Clyro people, seeing 
the stocks broken, demolished and burnt the stocks andthe whipping 
post, and no one was ever confined or whipped at Clyro after that. 

Wednesday, 19 March 

I drove to Llan Thomas to dine and sleep. Daisy was very good 
to me all the evening. She taught me to play Commerce, and think- 
ing the lamp hurt my eyes as I shaded them a moment with the 
cards to look across the table she rose at once and brought the lamp- 
shade. She asked anxiously if my cough hurt me and whenever I 
coughed she seemed to sutler pain herself. 
[The diarist returns to Langley BtirrdL] 

Wednesday ', 9 April 

While we were sitting at supper this evening we were startled by 
a sound under the sideboard as if a rat were tearing and gnawing 
at the wainscot or skirting board. The noise ceased and then began 
again. Suddenly Dora uttered an exclamation and a strange look 
came over her face. She seized the lamp and went to the sideboard 
pointing to a white handled knife which ky under the sideboard 
and which she said she had seen a moment before crawling and 
wriggling along the floor-cloth by itself and making the tearing, 
gnawing, rending noise we had heard. No one knew how the knife 
had got under the sideboard. As four of us stood round looking at 
the knife lying on the floorcloth suddenly the knife leaped into the 
air and fell back without anyone touching it. It looked very strange 
and startled us a good deal. We thought of spirit agency and felt 
uncomfortable and compared the time expecting to hear more of 
the matter, until Dora observed a very tiny grey mouse taking the 


buttered point of the knife in his mouth and dragging it along and 
walking backwards. Then all was explained. 

Friday, 18 April 

My mother says she remembers to have heard as an old village 
tradition that the street of Kington St. Michael was green with 
grass during the Great Plague for there was scarcely any passing 
in those dreadful months. 

Sunday, 27 April 

Visited old Sally Killing. She said when she was young women 
never wore their gowns out haymaking. If a farmer saw one of his 
women working in her gown he would order her to take it off 
She herself had been weeks without putting on her grown from 
Monday morning till Saturday night, in the hay harvest. The 
women had loose sleeves which they pinned on to their 'shift 
sleeves' and which covered their arms to the wrist from the sun. 
*But now,' said Sally contemptuously, *now they are all ladies. 
They wear dresses now, not gowns! 

Monday, 19 May 

Went to London by 11.15 train. At half past four I met Jack in 
the vestibule at Burlington House. The Exhibition seemed to me to 
be an unusually good one, and I was much struck by some of the 
pictures especially sweet Imogen, and the Turning Point, the 
beautiful face and eyes of the w2e looking up to her husband's stern 
sullen countenance as she leans on his breast, beseeching him, plead- 
ing with him, oh so earnestly and imploringly, to give up drinking. 
It went to my heart. 

Wednesday, 21 May 

I went to Dore's Picture Gallery in New Bond Street. There 
was a new picture there, an Andromeda, a handsome graceful girl 
life size, well painted, the flesh tints very natural. The slender 
girlish form is bowed and shrinking from the monster, the white 
Feet are washed by the kp of the green waves, the manacled hands 
and wrists are straining at the chain and the rich brown hair is blown 
wildly forward from the bowed back and beautiful shoulders across 
the horror-stricken face. 

Holy Thursday, 22 May 
I went to the International Exhibition and saw the silk looms 


weaving and bought some medals of the Queen, Prince of Wales 
and the Exhibition which I saw being struck. One of the most 
beautiful pictures was one of a lovely girl reaper. At 5 o'clock I 
went into the Park. At Hyde Park Corner the crush was incredible. 

Friday, 23 May 

How delightful to get down into the sweet fresh damp air of the 
country again and the scent of the bean blossoms. 

Wednesday, iijune 

Drove my Mother to Kington St. Michael in a shandry dan 
which was lent to us by Hart Porter while he is repainting and 
repairing our own carriage. In Gander Lane we saw in the banks 
some of the 'Midsummer Men" plants which my Mother remembers 
the servant maids and cottage girls sticking up in their houses and 
bedrooms on Midsummer Eve, for the purpose of divining about 
their sweethearts. 

Sunday, i$June 

A beautiful peaceful summer Sunday mom such as Robert Bums 
would have loved. Perfect peace and rest. The sun and the golden 
buttercup meadows had it almost all to themselves. A few soft 
fleecy clouds were rising out of the west but the gentle warm air 
scarcely stirred even the leaves on the lofty tops of the great poplars. 
One or two people were crossing the Common early by the several 
paths through the golden sea of buttercups which will soon be the 
silver sea of ox-eyes. The birds were singing quietly. The cuckoo's 
notes tolled clear and sweet as a silver bell and a dove was pleading 
in the elm and 'making intercession for us with groanings which 
cannot be uttered*. 

Wednesday, iSJune 

This evening the Shah of Persia arrived in England from Brussels 
and Ostend, escorted by the British fleet, and got wetted through 
by a heavy shower as he drove from the Railway Station to Buck- 
ingham Palace. The Shah is the first Persian monarch who ever 
left his own dominions except for conquest. 

Saturday, the Longest Day 

Near the keeper's cottage the setting sun made a green and 
golden splendour in the little open glade among the oaks while the 


keeper and two other men walked like three angels in the 

Tuesday, Midsummer Day 

Walter Brown of the Marsh says that his grandfather once saw 
some fairies in a hedge. But before he could get down out of the 
cart they were gone. 
Saturday, 12 July 

This afternoon I went to see Mrs. Drew and if possible to comfort 
her concerning the death of her child. She was filled with sorrow 
and remorse because when the child had mouched from school last 
Monday and had wandered about all day with scarcely any food 
she had whipped him as soon as he came home in the evening and 
had sent him supperless to bed, although he had besought her almost 
in an agony to give him a bit of bread. 'Oh Mother, oh Mother, 
do give me one bit of bread.' Her heart smote her bitterly now that 
it was too late, when she remembered how the child had begged 
and prayed for food. The next morning soon after rising he fell 
down in a fit and he died at even. The mother asked me to go up- 
stairs and see the child. He lay in his coffin looking very peaceful 
and natural with the flowers on his breast and the dark hair curling 
on his forehead. 

Wednesday, i6July 

As I walked along the field path I stopped to listen to the rustle 
and solemn night whisper of the wheat, so different to its voice by 
day. The com seemed to be praising God and whispering its evening 
prayer. Across the great level meads near Chippenham came the 
martial music of a drum and fife band, and laughing voices of unseen 
girls were wafted from farms and hayfields out of the wide dusk. 
Monday, 21 July 

A splendid summer's day, burning hot, sitting under the linden 
reading Memorials of a Quiet Life, Augustus Hare's book. As I sat 
there my mind went through a fierce struggle. Right or wrong? 
The right conquered, the sin was repented and put away and the 
rustle of the wind and the melodious murmurs of innumerable bees 
in the hives overhead suddenly seemed to me to take the sound of 
distant music, organs. And I thought I heard the harps of the 
angels rejoicing in heaven over a sinner that had repented. Then I 
thought I saw an angel in an azure robe coming towards me across 


the lawn, but it was only the blue sky through the feathering 
branches of the lime. 
Tuesday, 22 July 

To-day the heat was excessive and as I sat reading under the lime 
I pitied the poor haymakers toiling in the burning Common where 
it seemed to be raining fire. 
Wednesday, 23 July 

Came to Hawkchurch for three days. A pleasant and lovely 
journey with the air cleared and cooled by the storm. Uncle Will 
met me at Axminster Station with Polly and the dog cart. 

After tea Dora and I went up the high field in front of the 
cottage to look for mushrooms and glow worms in the dusk. 
Thursday, 24 July 

This morning Uncle Will, Dora and I drove to Seaton with Polly 
and the dog cart. It was a lovely morning. At Seaton while Dora 
was sitting on the beach I had a bathe. A boy brought me to the 
machine door two towels as I thought, but when I came out of the 
water and began to use them I found that one of the rags he had 
given me was a pair of very short red and white striped drawers 
to cover my nakedness. Unaccustomed to such things and customs 
I had in my ignorance bathed naked and set at nought the conven- 
tionalities of the place and scandalized the beach. However some 
little boys who were looking on at the rude naked man appeared 
to be much interested in the spectacle, and the young ladies who 
were strolling near seemed to have no objection. 
Saturday, 26th July 

Up at 6.30 and out at 7 o'clock in a lovely bright breezy morning, 
the dew shining after rain. I stole out at the back door to avoid 
disturbing anyone and I believe Rawlings the gardener thought I 
was gone mad or going to commit suicide for he ran anxiously out 
of his shoe house and looked after 1 me to see which way I was going. 
The meadows were clean swept and washed and the lattermath 
from which the hay had been cleared gleamed brilliant green after 
the rain. I followed the lanes past West Hay, and presently came to 
the dry bed of a brook crossing the road. Before I could pass over 
it however I heard a sudden sound of water and saw a stream begin- 
ning to trickle and wind amongst the stones. The stream broadened 
and deepened till with a swift rush of brown turbid water the brook 


bed was filled and the stream poured under a little foot bridge and 
roared down, a small cataract, into the meadows beyond. I thought 
at first it was a little flood caused by the day and night's rain and just 
came down the valley, but a merry-faced peasant, who was on his 
way to a rustic festival of sheep dipping, said that the sudden stream 
I had seen was the water fresh loosed from the mill pound of 
Zealey's Mill at Phelley Holme. The man said there were a good 
many trout in the brooks from Ib. to 2 Ibs. and told me they 
should probably end their sheep dipping with a trout-netting frolic 
in the evening after the work was done. 

At the bottom of the hill in the sunny hollow where we crossed 
a little stream of limpid water dear as crystal, dazzling and gleaming 
over its yellow pebbles, we met a woman who in answer to my 
companion's enquiries directed him to the sheepwashing. And 
presently we came to the gate of the meadow where the rural 
festival was being held. A group of men whose clothes were 
splashed and dyed by the red wash were plunging sheep and lambs 
one by one into a long deep trough. The sheep went in white and 
came out red, protected by their dipping against the attentions of 
the fly, and walked away across the meadow to join the nock, 
shaking the red wash in showers from their close-shorn fleeces. 

The lane grew more and still more lovely. The morning sun- 
light slanted richly across the road between the trees, or struck 
here and there through a break in the foliage and tipped a frond of 
fern with brilliant green light. Broad alternate bars of sunshine and 
shadow ky across the lane, the sunlight shone on the polished grey 
silvery stems of a row of beeches, and a tender morning mist hung 
dreamily over the wooded hollow of the dingle below the road. 

The lane opened up into a high open common across which the 
morning breeze from the sea stirred freshly with a cool light after 
the warm shelter of the hollow lanes. Beyond the common a gate 
let into a shady road cool and damp, dark and quiet as a cloister. It 
was completely overhung by trees, and the air was filled with the 
fragant aromatic scent of the fir trees and the soft carpet of fir 
needles with which the ground was thickly strewn. The fields of 
ripening wheat began to glow golden along the slopes of the blue 
hills and the ferns, fresh washed by the rain of the night, beamed 
clear and brilliant green where the sun slanted silently through the 
windows of the wood. 


Monday, 4 August 

To-day I took Annie Jeflferies 1 to her new place at Llysdinam. 
We arrived at Llysdinam in pouring rain. 

Wednesday, 6 August 

This afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Venables and Mary Bevan and I 
went by train from Builth road to Garth to attend the Garth Flower 
Show, Dog Show, Poultry Show, Bazaar and Athletic Sports, all 
in one. Mrs. Welby was holding a bazaar in one of the tents for the 
benefit of poor old Llanlionfel Church now in ruins, but which 
they hope to get restored. While the athletic sports were going on 
I wandered away by myself into congenial solitude for a visit to the 
ruined Church of Llanlionfel. Passing by the quaint old house of 
Garth, formerly one of the numberless possessions of the great 
Gwynne family, I descended by a cart road into the meadows. The 
ruined Church tottered lone upon a hill in desolate silence. The 
old tombstones stood knee-deep in the long coarse grass and white 
and purple flowers nodded over the graves. The door stood open 
and I went in. The window frames and seats were gone. Nothing 
was left but the high painted deal pulpit bearing the sacred mono- 
gram in yellow letters. Some old memorial tablets bearing Latin 
inscriptions in remembrance of Marmaduke Gwynne and his family 
were affixed to the East Wall. The place was utterly deserted, 
there was not a sound. But through the ruined windows I could see 
the white tents of the flower show in the valley beneath, I ascended 
the tall rickety pulpit and several white owls disturbed from their 
day sleep floated silently under the crazy Rood Loft- on their broad 
downy wings and sauntered sailing without sound through die 
frameless east and west windows to take refuge with a graceful 
sweep of their broad white pinions in the ancient yew that kept 
watch over the Church. It was a place for owls to dwell in and for 
satyrs to dance in. 

It is long since the Church has been used, though weddings were 
celebrated in it after it was disused for other services. There is a 
curious story of a gentleman who was married here. Some years 
after his marriage his wife died, and it happened that he brought 
his second bride to the same Church. Upon the altar rails she found 
hanging the kce handkerchief which her predecessor had dropped 
1 A maid for whom Kflvert had obtained a place with Mrs, Venables. 


at the former wedding. The Church had never been used nor the 
handkerchief disturbed in the interval of years between the two 

Friday, 8 August 

This morning I left Llysdinam with Mr. Venables and Mary 
Bevan. Before I went I sent for Annie Jefferies into the library to 
wish her Goodbye, She said she was happy and getting on nicely 
with her work and the servants were kind and friendly to her. But 
poor child when we came to part, sever the last link that bound her 
to home, she burst into tears and left the room crying bitterly. 

We travelled in great state from Newbridge to Hay in a magni- 
ficent saloon carriage, in which Lady Baily had come down from 
London yesterday and which was on its way home. 

[Kilvert returns to Langley.] 
Tuesday, 19 August 

Went to see Mrs. Pearce at Landsend, Mrs. James Knight's sister. 
She told me her sad story. Born in better circumstances, the daughter 
of a substantial but litigious farmer, her mother died while she was 
yet a child. Then her husband died young leaving her with two 
children and a farm at Shaw to struggle with. Her cows caught the 
distemper and she was forced to drench them with her own hands. 
Next the rent of her farm was suddenly and greatly raised by her 
own brother-in-law and she was in consequence thrown out of 
Business and reduced to comparative poverty. 'Twas a sad history 
and when she had asked me about my own family and had learnt 
that my Father and Mother were both living, she said with a sigh, 
'How different some people's circumstances are*. *I used', she said, 
'to look across the road to die churchyard where my husband was 
sleeping and think how he was lying at rest while I had all the 
cares of the farm and the family to struggle with. And I thought 
my heart would break.' 

Saturday ; 30 August 

Driving into Chippenham with Fanny this morning we saw the 
headquarters of the isth Hussars who had just marched in, band 
playim*. They were on their way up from Dartmoor to Colchester. 
'They had been taking part in the disastrous manoeuvres. Horses 
and men looked thin, worn, weak, dirty and jaded and as if the best 


manoeuvres they could accomplish would be a manoeuvre into their 
barracks. They have had a sad time on Dartmoor, incessant rain and 
bottomless swamp and no rugs for the horses who stood fetlock 
deep in the bogs. Capt. Dalhn was in the town, delighted to see 
soldiers again and quite in his element. There was a good deal of 
excitement and movement in the town. Officers riding about 
billeting the men and men seeking their billets. 
Tuesday, September Morrow 

In the evening Dora went to Langley Lodge to see Mrs. Dailin 
and as she did not come back by dark I went to fetch her. A soft 
moonlight was flooding the common as the moon sailed out from 
behind a net of heavy clouds and the cattle looked ghostly in the 
weird silver light. At Langley Lodge I found two dashing Hussars 
dining with Captain Dailin who was in his glory. Captain Truman 
and a subaltern in his troop, Lieutenant Burne I think. The Lieuten- 
ant found his dress Hussar boot very tight at dessert and ia great 
agony he begged my pen knife. Then while I held a candle from the 
branches he by Captain Truman's advice slit his boot up the side 
and found immediate relief, though with some compunction for 
the boots were his best and last pair. 
Wednesday, 3 September 

This morning punctually at 7.30 the bugle sounded the trot at the 
top of Huntsman s Hill and the last troop of the I3th Hussars clanked 
along the common. Captain Truman was as good as his word. 
They took the road down the village and stopped at Langley Lodge 
where Captain Dailin regaled the officers with brandy and soda. 
One morning before he gave them brandy and soda on the Common. 

Friday, 19 September 

At Rawling's I was talking to old Mrs. Matthews about the great 
number of railway accidents that have happened lately. It's shock- 
ing to be ushered out of the world in that way,' exclaimed Alice 
Matthews indignantly. John Couzens foretells a revolution in 
EngHsh society. 'I know it's coming,' he said, 'as sure as this prong 
is in my hand.' 

Tuesday, 23 September 

In the afternoon as I was sitting under the shade of the acacia on 
the lawn enjoying the still warm sunshine of the holy autumn day 
it was a positive luxury to be alive. A tender haze brooded melting 


over the beautiful landscape, and the peaceful silence was only 
broken by the chuckling and grumbling of a squirrel leaping among 
the acacia boughs overhead, and the clear sweet solitary notes of a 
robin singing from the copper beech. 

Wednesday, 24 September 

Another glorious day added to this beautiful Michaelmas summer. 
As I walked before breakfast across the Common I met Herriman 
the porter returning through the lovely morning from his night 
work at the station, and I could not help thinking of the difference 
between my lot and his, and how much more enjoyment I have in 
my life than he has in his. How differently we both spent last night, 
but how much better he spent it than I did. He was doing extra 
night duty that a fellow porter might enjoy a holiday, while I -. 
Herriman has only three days' holiday during the whole year, while 
to me every day is a holiday and enjoyment and delight. And for 
no desert of mine. Surely there will be compensation made for these 
things hereafter if not here. 

Sunday, Michaelmas Eve 

Dora said Syddy Ashe is fairly mad with disappointment at not 
having seen the ijth Hussars when they passed through Langley 
on their way to Colchester. 'I would have given a great deal to 
have seen one/ she said, *it would have been happiness to have seen 
one soldier, but to have missed the chance of seeing them all! It is 
too much/ And she nearly cried with vexation. 

Sunday, 5 October 

This morning [name rubbed out] came privately to church at 
10.30 with [name rubbed out] to be churched after the birth of her 
son, which took place three months after her wedding. This has 
been a great scandal and grief to us. 

Tuesday, 7 October 

This morning I went to Bath with my Father and Mother to 
attend the Church Congress Service at the Abbey at n. Dr. 
Alexander the Bishop of Derry preached an admirable sermon 
nearly an hour long. 

The swarming city was filled with the ringing of bells. At 2 my 
Mother, Thersie and I went to a meeting in the new temporary 
Congress Hall, where we heard more good papers and speeches 
from the Bishop of Bath and Wells, the President of the Congress, 


the Bishop of Oxford, Lord Bath, Lord Nelson, Beresford Hope, 
and Canon Girdlestone on 'the duty of the Church with regard to 
strikes and labour 1 . 

Wednesday, 8 October 

This morning I came down to Bath from Chippenham to stay 
for the rest of the Congress. I reached Bath just in time to go up to 
the new wooden Congress Hall, admirably arranged for sound and 
ventilation, and attended two sections, the first on Foreign Missions 
and the second on the Union of Church and State. In the first 
section Sir Barde Frere 1 spoke admirably. Last night and this after- 
noon George Anthony Denison 3 spoke and excited a storm. 

Thursday, 9 October 

Lunched at I Sion Hill with Miss Armine Furlong, Miss Reece 
and Jane Dew and went to three sections of the Church Congress. 

Friday, 10 October 

Attended three sections of the Church Congress at the Congress 
Hall. The subjects were the Life of Godliness, the Religious wants 
and clm* of children, and Church Music. In the morning) as 
Bishop Ryan was speaking, an angel came into the Congress Hall 
and stood near the door listening. It had taken the form of a very 
beautiful young girl in a long grey cloak and a shower of golden- 
brown hair. I watched her intently and as she bowed her fair head 
and knee at the Name of Names she assumed exactly the attitude 
and appearance of the angels that overshadowed with their wings 
the ark and the Mercy seat. In the perpetual struggle between the 
powers and principles of good and evif the obeisance rebuked and 
put to flight an evil thought. 

After the last section on Church Music I went with Miss Armine 
Furlong, Miss Reece and Jane Dew to the Mayor and Mayoress's 
reception at the Assembly Rooms. Some 3000 people were present 
and yet there was plenty of space to walk about in these noble rooms. 
We arrived at 9 and left at midnight. There was a band, tea, coffee, 

1 Sir Barde Frere (1815-1884), though best known as a statesman, was a zealous 
churchman. In 1872 he had published a work entitled Christianity suited to all Poms 

* George Anthony Denison (1805-1896), archdeacon of Taunton, cremated, 
according to the Dictionary ofNtttional Biography, 'the now popular festival oi harvest 
home" '. He was a High Churchman much addicted to controversy, and published a 
violent diatribe against Gladstone which was widely read. 


ices, champagne cup, claret cup, sandwiches, and speeches by the 
Bishop of Peterborough, the Bishop of Manchester, the Rector of 
Bath, and Mr. Randall, Vicar of All Saints, Clifton. 

It was stated that the Bath Congress was the most successful and 
the largest Church Congress yet held, 1400 more tickets having 
been sold than last year at Leeds. Altogether between 6000 and 
7000 tickets were sold. 

Wednesday, 22 October 

This evening I had a letter from Josiah Evans, my friend the Clyro 
schoolmaster. His letter makes me laugh and almost cry at the same 
time. The parish he says is all in a muddle from end to end, and the 
sooner the new Vicar comes the better. My poor Clyro. My 
beloved Clyro. 

Wednesday, 29 October 

Dined at Chippenham Vicarage with Fanny. The Jacksons were 
there, Georgie and George Awdry with Miss Lucy Peck and the 
Frederick Awdrys with Capt. Hill, their cousin, a tall handsome 
powerful man who when tiger hunting once in India was seized 
by a tiger by the back of his neck. But he so pommelled the tiger s 
face over his shoulder that the beast let go, leaving Capt. Hill how- 
ever with a stiff neck for life. 

Monday, 17 November 

At ten o'clock this morning, after school, I went on to Langley 
House to consult Mr. Ashe about the advisability of publicly ob- 
serving the Special Day of Prayer for Missionaries which the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury has recommended for December 3. I found 
the Squire and Mrs. Ashe in the upper drawing room. She was 
reading aloud to him. He asked whether I thought it wise to have 
lectures on winter evenings for mixed audiences of men and women, 
and to bring out the girls and their sweethearts for a moonlight walk, 

Thursday, 20 November 

Edward Humphries married a young woman when he was 83 and 
had a son within the year. 'Leastways his wife had,' said Mrs. Hall. 

Friday, 28 November 

Dined at Langley House. Only the Dallins were there. The 
Squire was very agreeable, and gave us some of his splendid old '51 


port and some priceless Madeira thirty-five years old, imported 
when Emma Clutterbuck was at Madeira. 

Sunday, 7 December 

Called on old Sally Killing after Church. She asked me the usual 
and indeed invariable question whether I remembered her old 
thatched cottage, near the road, by the lilac bush, and the old house 
in Westfield. I asked her how she passed her time. 'Aw ther/ she 
said, 1 do rock and sway myself about/ 

Tuesday, 9 December 

A brilliant white frost and the hoary meadows sparkling with 
millions of rainbows and twinkling with diamonds. 

From the gate of Langley House, while waiting for Dora and 
Georgie to come out, I saw the Squire in his white hat cantering 
his bay pony across the park and charging the phalanx of his 
daughters on the gravel in front of the house to see how they would 
resist cavalry', his usual joke. The infantry scattered right and left 
and Thersie flew off to a safe distance. 

Mrs. Coates told me of her son Reuben's noble conduct to his 
dying sweetheart Sarah Hains. He would not be ashamed of her 
nor cease walking with her though her dropsical size drew all eyes 
and many suspicions upon him. 

Wednesday, 10 December 

Sad accounts reach me of the neglected state of my poor Clyro. 
'My sheep wander through the mountains'. 

Thursday, n December 

There has been another disgraceful uproar in the Tichborne Trial 
between Dr. Kenealy and the Lord Chief Justice. 

Friday, 12 December 

Walked with Dora to Langley Htzurse. Called at the Manor 
Farm and had a long chat with Alice Banks about old times. 

When Miss Long became heiress of Draycot and Wanstead and 
came of age there were great rejoicings. An ox was roasted whole 
in the park and a troop of yeomanry cavalry guarded it, riding round 
the roasting ox to keep die people off. When the ox was cut down 
half of it was burnt and charred and the other half was raw. 

Thousands of people gathered from far and near to see the rejoic- 
ing. While the cavalry were at dinner in the house the kitchen 


chimney caught fire. The cavalry rushed out to see what was- the 
matter, and the crowd immediately rushed in and cleared the 
tables. There was no food to be got in Sutton, all the provisions 
were swept off. Many of the strangers were nearly starved and 
came to the Home farm, where Mrs. Banks was visiting her grand- 
father, to ask for some dry bread and cold water for which they 
were ready to pay anything. But the house was nearly empty of 
food. There was a ball in the great barn too and horse racing in the 
Park with all sorts of games and fireworks in the evening. 

Then came the courtship and marriage of Miss Long, the great 
heiress, with the scamp Wellesley. Lady Catherine set her face 
against the marriage, but her daughter was weak and obstinate, the 
servants were bribed and the courtship was carried on clandestinely. 
"Wellesley used to drive his tilbury down to the Langley Brewery, 
leave it there, and come and hide himself in the sunk fence in front of 
this house, what is now Langley Rectory. When he had watched 
,Lady Catherine drive across the common into Chippenham with 
her four or six long-tailed black horses, leaving Miss Long the 
heiress locked up at home, he would run down to the Brewery, get 
into his tilbury, and gallop over to Draycot, where he saw Miss 
Long by the connivance of the servants. 

She was infatuated and would not listen to those friends who 
told her that he was a villain and only wanted her money. After- 
wards he brought down a hired carriage and horses from London 
and drove from the Angel at Chippenham to Draycot four-in- 
hand. At length Lady Catherine gave way and consented to the 
marriage, which Miss Long never ceased to regret, for her husband 
treated her in the most brutal manner and squandered the estate. 

Mrs. Banks said that one night her father came home from 
Chippenham very much disgusted because Long Wellesley had 
said in an election speech when he was standing for the county, 
'Now gentlemen, all of you who are husbands, I advise you to go 
home and be as good husbands to your wives as I am to mine*. The 
impudent scoundrel. 

Isaac Giles says he remembers hearing Long Wellesley make an 
election speech from the Angel in the course of which he told the 
people how he had *got up the old lady's legs and married her 
daughter*. Isaac Giles was then working next door to the Angel and 
saw Long Wellesley drive away to Draycot four-in-hand every 


morning courting, and return at night, As lie left Church with his 
bride after the wedding he was tapped on the shoulder for ,20,000, 
And my mother remembers the wretched wife not long afterwards 
coining up to Langley Fitzurse, to my grandfather's, to borrow 
money, for the bailiffs were in Draycot House and her scamp of a 
hisbandhadlefther destitute, She was a mean-looking little woman, 
as weak as water, 

, 15 Dumber 

Fanny went to luncheon at Langley Fitzurse. I called there at 
1,30 and walked to Draycot with her to see Draycot House, Miss, 
Vest the housekeeper showed us over the house, The entrance hall 
was matted with fallow deer skins from the chase. The walls were 
ornamented with fallow bucks' heads and horns from every branch 
tip of which sprung a jet of gas, 

To-day Captain Wellesley was married to the daughter of Lord 
Augustus Lorn The bride and bridegroom were expected down 
by the j o'clock train to spend the honeymoon at Draycot. About 
anhour and a half before they arrived we were being shown through 
their bedroom, dressing and sitting rooms and looking at their 
photographs, Coming home I met Mrs. Ashe and as I stood talking 
to her in die dusk, there came a flashing of lights and a rattle of horse- 
hoofs and the bride and bridegroom whirled past to Draycot with 
four greys and postilions, 


Wednesday, 14 January 

To-night my Father told me his reminiscences of my grandfather, 
old Squire Coleman. 'He was a man of middle height,' he said, 
'thin and spare. His hair was grizzled when I knew him. He had a 
good profile and a fine nose, hut his face was the colour of a kite's 
foot, yellow and unwholesome looking, and his address was rendered 
unpleasant by a set unmeaning smile. He always said "Sir" to every- 
one. He dressed in a remarkable way, and looked like a clergyman 
of the old school in a very large white neckcloth, black coat, white 
cord breeches, grey gaiters and shoes. He rode a black horse and 
stooped a good deal over its neck/ (I have heard Edward Little of 
Lanhill say that my grandfather had the saddle put very far back on 
the horse and then sat very far back in the saddle.) *I used to go over 
to Langley occasionally to see your grandfather. Your Aunt Sarah 
used to ask me to come over and talk to him. One Sunday evening 
I was sitting with them and Sarah quietly pushed a book towards me. 
It was a book of sermons. "Shall I read to you?" I asked, opening 
the book. "If you please, Sir," said the old gentleman with a low 
and sudden bow and his peculiar set smile. He listened to me but 
made no remark/ 

He was a good and easy landlord, and an upright honourable man 
in all his dealings. He was a regular attendant at his parish Church, 
Kington St. Michael's, and he was so punctual that the village folks 
at Kington used to set their clocks by the Squire. 

Tuesday, 20 January 

Visited John and Hannah Hatherell. Hannah was telling me 
about an execution. Two young men of Brernhill named Powney 
saw the mother of the murderer striding across the fields to be in 
time to see her son hung. 

Friday, 30 January 

Drove my Mother to Chippenham. A Radical Candidate has 
taken us all by surprise. Handel Cossham was nominated this morn- 
ing. Before daylight the town had broken out with a bad eruption 
of poisonous yellow bills. We thought Goldney was going to walk 
over the course without opposition. 



Thursday, 5 February 

This afternoon I went to see the young dragoon Frank Vincent. 
He is in the ist Royals and home on furlough of a month from 
Edinburgh after an illness. He is a fine handsome young fellow as 
you shall see in a day's march. He said he was fond of Burns, and I 
read aloud to him Burns* Epistle to a young friend, Andrew Aiken. 

Friday, 6 February 

To-day the papers brought us good news from Cape Coast Castle. 
Sir Garnet Wolseiey was within a march of Coomassie. The King 
of Ashantee had sent in his submission and agreed to pay the .200,000 
demanded by Sir Garnet. 

As I crossed the Common on my way home a form loomed 
through the thick mist, a labouring man going home from his work, 
and a voice halloed, 'Stop there till I see who you be. Is that Mr. 
Frank Kilvert?' It was poor George Bourchier staggering along the 
worse for drink. I took his hand. 'George,' I said sadly and gently, 
'you have had too much.' 1 have, Sir,' he said. 'God forgive me. I 
cry about it night and morning. I will try to leave it off. God bless 
you.' The poor wandering sheep. 

Saturday, St Valentines Day 

This afternoon I went to see Frank Vincent, the handsome young 
Dragoon, once more before he leaves to rejoin his regiment, the 
ist Royals at Edinburgh. He is a noble young soldier and singularly 
attractive and lovable. 

Monday, 16 February 

Greatly troubled by the licentiousness of the school children, 
especially Harriet Ferris, Mary Grimshaw and Lucy HalHday. 

Friday, 20 February . f , 

Visited old John HathereU the sawyer. He began sawing For the 
Manor the year my great-grandmother old Madame Ashe died in 
1823, more than half a century ago, and he has been at the caU ot the 
Manor ever since. He had known sore hardships, he said, when the 
bread was so very dear and he was bringing up a large family. Utuax 
he had worked all day up to his knees in water and gone to bed 
hungry that his children might have bread, and he thought they 
always had enough. 


Tuesday, 10 March 

I found John Gough returned from the Bath United Hospital kst 
Saturday. He was twenty-one years in the army, and fought at 
Alma and Inkerman where he was wounded. 'No one but them- 
selves who went through it/ he said, 'will ever know what our 
soldiers endured in the winter of 1854-1855. No firewood but what 
they cut down or the roots they grubbed up under the fire of the 
enemy's guns. The coffee served out green to be roasted as the men 
could over their miserable fires in fragments of shell, and then when 
burnt or blackened a little pounded with two stones in a piece of 
canvas or coarse cloth, just something to flavour the water. A little 
grog and plenty of salt meat, but often no biscuit, and they were 
afraid to eat much of the salt meat for fear of scurvy. When they 
came in from the trenches or night fatigue duty, no fire, no straw to 
lie down on, only a blanket and greatcoat and the mud ankle-deep. 
On Christmas Day a little piece of butter and two ounces of "figgy 
pudding" were served to each man' out of casks. Tobacco was 
more precious than gold. If a man was lucky enough to have a pipe 
he doted on it as if it were Almighty God coming down upon him. 
Tobacco was so scarce that he hardly dared to put it into the pipe, 
only a very little bit, and then just two or three draws at a time. 
Then he stopped the pipe with a bit of rag and put it into his pocket. 
He could not afford himself more than that at once. If I had had 
tobacco I could have done with one meal a day. The French soldiers 
were in plenty while we were starving. The French managed 
everything well. In our lines there was nothing but shameful mis- 
management. As many men died of neglect, mismanagement, cold, 
starvation and needless disease as died in battle. The French were 
four miles nearer to Balaclava and the provision stores, then they 
had hardy mules, while the English horses dropped under their 
loads and died by the roadside.' 

John Gough said, 'On the Sunday morning November 5th 1854 
I was sleeping in the tent. I had been on fatigue duty that night till 
midnight. About 6 o'clock before daylight a man who slept next 
me touched me and said, "J a ck the Rooshians are firing into the 
camp". ^1 said, "Nonsense, who cares? Let me sleep." However he 
wouldn't let me be. "It's true," he said with an oath. I wanted to 
sleep and rapped out a nasty word. It was true enough however and 
the cannon balls soon came hopping through the camp. Then the 

l87 4j INKERMAN 235 

bugle sounded "Stand to your arms" and I said, "There is something 

up then after all". We stood to our arms. It was not daybreak yei 

and we waited in the shelter of the 4-gun battery that defended our 

division. Our battery was blazing away at the flashes of the Rooshian 

guns. This is how we were surprised. There were double sentries 

on outlying picket duty that night, one to stand and listen while the 

other walked about and warmed himself. Then he took a turn at 

listening and the other walked about. When the guard was relieved 

at 4 o'clock in the morning one of the sentries reported to a captain 

of the 47th that he could hear a noise like the rattling of waggons 

coming out of Sebastopol. The sergeant confirmed his report and 

added that he could hear also that the wheels were muffled. He said 

the Captain might hear the noise himself if he went down into the 

ravine. But the Captain laughed at it and took no notice. These 

waggons were the field pieces and ammunition waggons coming 

out of Sebastopol to surprise the English and fight the battle of 

Inkennan. It was the longest battle fought in the war and lasted all 

day from dawn to dusk/ 

Friday, 13 March 

Charles Awdry told a good story which he said the Archdeacon 
of Sarum told him. The Archdeacon on a Visitation tour came to a 
small upland parish in the diocese of Salisbury. He asked the clerk 
how often the Holy Communion was administered in the year. 
The clerk stared. 'What did you please to say?' he asked. "The 
Holy Communion,' repeated the Archdeacon. 'How often do you 
have it in the year?' The clerk still stared open-mouthed in hopeless 
bewilderment. At length a suspicion of the Archdeacon's meaning 
began to dawn faintly upon him. 'Aw/ he blurted out. 'Aw, we 
do never have he. We've got no tackling/ 

Monday, 16 March 

To-day there was a great gathering at Chislehurst of friends of the 
exiled Napoleon dynasty to celebrate the coming of age of the 
Prince Imperial at the age of 18. 

Started for Llysdinam by the 8.30 express. 

At Three Cocks we waited some time and I fell into talk with one 
of the Bridgwaters of one of the Porthamal farms who told me about 
the elections and how at Talgarth Mr. de Winton of Maesllwch had 
been insulted by men kicking round him as a football a rabbit stuffed 


with bran, in allusion to his propensity for ruining his tenants by 
keeping vast hordes of rabbits on his estate. 

When the train came in from Brecon a tall girl with a fresh colour 
dressed in deep mourning got out of the train and came towards me. 
It was Daisy, and her brother John was with her. There was a half 
sweet, half sad look, a little reproachful in the beautiful kind eyes as 
she said in a low voice, 'I have been looking out for you such a long 
time'. Poor child, my poor child. 

Saturday, 21 March 
Left Llysdinam and came to Whitney Rectory. 

Monday, 23 March 

One of the dear old bright happy mornings which seem peculiar 
and sacred to Whitney Rectory. The sun shone brightly in at the 
southern window bowered in roses and beautiful creeping plants 
and the birds chirped and sang in their bowers and I opened my eyes 
on the old familiar view as I looked up the valley of the Wye to the 
heights of Clyro Hill. Muirbach Hill dawned a soft azure through 
the tender morning mists. Pretty Louisa Dew bounded up the 
stairs to meet me with a bright rosy morning face and a lovely kiss, 
when she heard me leave my room. She will be a noble-looking girl 
one day and will make somebody's heart ache. She is a very fine 
girl for her age now and as wild as a hawk but as good as gold, in 
spite of her dancing spirits. After breakfast a ramble in the garden to 
see the fruit trees. A white nectarine was in a blaze of purple blossom. 
I rode with Henry Dew senior to Clifford Priory to see how 
Haigh Allen was. We had a scamper back to Whitney Rectory to 
catch the 1.8 train which was to take me to Hay to stay at Hay 

In the afternoon Mrs. Bevan, Mary and I drove to Clyro. As we 
passed along the old familiar road that I have journeyed over so 
many times a thousand memories swept over me. Every foot of 
Clyro ground is classical and sacred and has its story. When we 
reached the dear old village the children had just come out of school. 
I kissed my hand to them, but they seemed as if they could hardly 
believe their eyes and it was not till after we had alighted at the 
lodge under the old weeping willow and were walking up the steep 
drive to Cae Mawr that a ringing cheer came up from the play- 


Mr. Morrell was not at home, but Reginald and Winifred came 
downstairs. TJbey had both forgotten me. Baskerville came to the 
door and we sat down in the drawing room for a chat. 

As we walked down- the drive to the carriage renewed cheers 
came ringing from the school. Mrs. Bevan was much amused and 
Baskerville said to me, 'It is a pity you don't stand for the county. 
You would have the suffrages of every one here,' 

The dear children crowded round the school door. They were 
a little shy and much grown since I saw them this time last year, but 
my sweet little Amy was unmistakable and so were the frank sweet 
eyes of Eleanor Hill. 

When we returned to Hay I walked to the almshouses beyond the 
Brecon turnpike with Mrs. Bevan, Alice and Cousie. 

The daffodils were nodding in bright yellow clumps in the little 
garden plots before the almshouse doors. And there a great ecstasy 
of happiness fell upon me. It was evening when I met her and the 
sun was setting up the Brecon road. I was walking by the alms- 
houses when there came down the steps a tall slight beautiful girl 
with a graceful figure and long flowing fair hair. Her lovely face 
was delicately pale, her features refined and aristocratic and her eyes 
a soft dark tender blue. She looked at me earnestly, longingly and 
lovingly, and dropped a pretty courtesy. Florence, Florence Hill, 
sweet Florence Hill, is it you? Once more. Thank God. Once more. 
My darling, my darling. As she stood and lifted those blue eyes, 
those soft dark loving eyes shyly to mine, it seemed to me as if the 
doors and windows of heaven were suddenly opened. It was one 
of the supreme moments of life. As I stood by the roadside holding 
her hand, lost to all else and conscious only of her presence, I was 
in heaven already, or if still on earth in the body, the flights of 
golden stairs sloped to my feet and one of the angels had come down 
to me. Florence, Florence Hill, my darling, my darling. It was 
well nigh all I could say in my emotion. With one long lingering 

; hand we parted and I saw her no more. 

Tuesday, 24 March, Lady Day Eve 

I went down to the almshouses hoping to see Florence Hill again. 
Alas, the daffodils were still blowing in the little garden plot, but 
Florence Hill was gone. .. 

I walked to Clyro by the old familiar fields and the Beacon sde, 


and when I looked down upon the dear old village nestling round 
the Church in the hollow at the dingle mouth and saw the fringes 
of the beautiful woods and the hanging orchards and the green 
slopes of Penllan and the white farms and cottages dotted over the 
hills a thousand sweet and sad memories came over me and all my 
heart rose up within me and went out in love towards the beloved 
place and people among whom I lived so long and so happily. 

I saw a number of the old people. Hannah Whitney was going to 
the well as of old in her rusty black bonnet tilted on to the top of her 
head. Mrs. Richard Williams was in the churchyard. She had come 
down from Paradise to trim Mr. Henry Venables' grave. Poor 
Lizzie Powell, a wreck and shadow of the fine blooming girl she 
was when I saw her last, was crouching up in the sunny window 
opposite the Vicarage, pale, wasted, shrunken, hollow-eyed and 
hollow-cheeked, dying of consumption, .but with the sanguine and 
buoyant spirit of that mysterious and fatally deceptive disease, 
hoping still against hope even with the hand of death upon her. She 
seemed pleased to see me. She was amusing herself by watching 
the men at work at the Vicarage building the new garden wall and 
her brother Charlie among them. 

I went to the school to see Evans and his wife and the children. 
*We will never forget you/ said one of them. *I wish/ said Mr. 
Higgins of Clyro Court Farm to me, *I wish to goodness you were 
going to stay amongst us. We all love you, We do indeed/ 

Thursday, 26 March 

I slept at Whitney Rectory last night and came to Hay this 
morning with Henry Dew by the ten o'clock train. 

I walked over to Llanthomas to luncheon with Captain John 
Thomas. Howarth Greenly was there at luncheon and they played 
quoits after lunch while I walked to the gardens with Charlotte and 
Fanny. I went back to Whitney Rectory to sleep as Mr. Venables 
is staying at the Castle. My poor, poor Daisy. When we parted 
the tears came into her eyes. She turned her face away. I saw the 
anguish of her soul. What could I do? 

Friday, 27 March 

After breakfast I walked with Jane and Helen Dew for a charming 
"walk. We loitered through some lovely woods and dingles starred 
thick with primroses, and across a rushing brook upon the stepping 


great Roman amphitheatre, Maiden Castle, the vallum of th< 
Roman camp, and took me round the beautiful avenues of luxuriair 
sycamore and chestnut which surround and adorn the town witt 
delightful boulevards foursquare and exquisite shaded walks over- 
arched by trees which give the place the look of a foreign town. 

As we passed along the beautiful water walk and over the hatches 
between the crystal streams of the Frome and the bright water- 
meadows below and looked up at the picturesque old high town 
bosomed in its groves of sycamore and chestnut and tufted with 
lofty trees we met a lovely girl dressed in deep mourning and walk- 
ing with her lover, probably a bold handsome artilleryman from the 
barracks, splendid in blue and gold. 

The Vicar told me part of the history of the politics of Fordingcon, 
his troubles with the Dorchester people and his struggles with the 
Council of the Duchy of Cornwall to which the parish of Fording- 
ton belongs and from which with great difficulty he has at length 
wrung some acknowledgement and help in money and improve- 

When the Vicar first came to Fordington he was instrumental, he 
said, in putting down some low bad races held near Dorchester. 
This made him very unpopular. For five years none of his family 
or flock could go into Dorchester without being insulted and baa-ed 
after like sheep. Twenty or thirty young men stood at the Church 
gates each Sunday and insulted the pastor and his congregation as 
they went into Church. And every year all the shrubs and flowers 
in the garden were rooted up and placed together in the middle of 
the lawn. All the opposition however had been lived down long 
ago and now the Vicar seems universally and deservedly respected. 

We walked together to the Poet's house, Winterbourne Came 
Rectory, about a mile from Fordington. The house lies a little back 
from the glaring white high road and stands on a lawn fringed with 
trees. It is thatched and a thatched verandah runs along its front. 
The thatched roof gives the Rectory house the appearance of a large 
lofty cottage. As we turned in at the iron gates from the high road 
and went down the gravel path the Poet was walking in the 
verandah. He welcomed us cordially and brought us into his 
drawing room on the right-hand side of the door. He is an old man, 
over seventy, rather bowed with age, but apparently hale and strong. 
'Excuse my study gown,' he said. He wore a dark grey loose gown , 

l874 ] WILLIAM BARNES 241 

girt round the waist with a black cord and tassel, bkck knee breeches, 
black silk stockings and gold buckled shoes. 

I was immediately struck by the beauty and grandeur of his head. 
It was an Apostolic head, bald and venerable, and the long soft 
silvery hair flowed on his shoulders and a long white beard fell upon 
Ms breast. His face was handsome and striking, keen yet benevolent, 
the finely pencilled eyebrows still dark and a beautiful benevolent 
loving look lighted up his fine dark blue eyes when they rested 
upon you. 

He is a very remarkable and a very remarkable-looking man, half 
hermit, half enchanter. 

The Poet seemed pleased with my visit and gratified that I had 

come such a long way to see him. I told him I had for many years 

known him through his writings and had long wished to thank 

him in person for the many happy hours his poems had given me. 

He smiled and said he was very glad if he had given me any pleasure. 

Frequently stroking his face and his venerable white beard the Poet 

told me he had composed his poems chiefly in the evening as a 

relaxation from the day's work when he kept a school in Dorchester. 

He was born at [ ] Newton, 1 a son of a small farmer, and in 

after life when he sat down to amuse himself by writing poetry all 

the dear scenes and well-remembered events and beloved faces of his 

youth crowded upon his memory. 'I saw them all distinctly before 

me,' he said, 'and all I had to do was to write them down. It was no 

trouble to me, the thoughts and words came of themselves/ He said 

that some of the names of people and pkces mentioned in his poems 

are fictitious, but they all represented real places and persons. The 

real name of Ellen Brine of Allenburn, he said, was Mary Hames, 

and the poem was true to the life. 

In describing a scene he always had an original in his mind^but 
sometimes he enlarged and improved upon the original. For 
instance/ he explained, 'sometimes I wanted a bit of water or wood 
or a hill, and then I put these in/ 'Pentridge by the river/ he said, 
was a real place, and so were some others. The river was the Stour. 
'Once/ said the Poet, 1 had a curious second-sight about a house. 
It was a farm house in a hollow that I had passed by some time before. 

Barnes (1801-1886) was born at R.ushay in the parish of Bagber, but was 
christened at Stunnkster Newton and went to school there. He came of yeoman 
stock, and his mother was a woman of some culture. 


I knew nothing about the house or the people, but it haunted me. I 
saw the place in a vision. Two children, a boy and a girl, were play- 
ing in the courtyard. I noticed their features distinctly. The girl 
ran very swiftly. Afterwards I learnt that just such a boy and girl 
did live in that house and I am sure that if I were to see these children 
I should know them by the faces of the children I saw in the vision/ 

The Poet is a self-taught man, a distinguished philologist, and is 
said to understand seventeen languages. 

As we walked from Fordington to Came in discussion like friends 
in council Mr. Moule repeated to me some beautiful and touching 
verses which he had composed when he was in the depths of his 
great trouble about his poor son Horace. The verses began, 'Lord, 
I love Thee'. He had sent a copy of them to the Poet who was de- 
lighted with them and said it was 'a goodly song from a golden lyre*. 
Now Mr. Moule, who is an universal genius, sat down to the piano 
in the Poet's drawing room and sang these verses in a sweet deep 
melodious voice, accompanying himself with a beautiful and 
appropriate air which he had composed himself and which came to 
him, he said, like an inspiration. Meanwhile the Poet sat by on an 
ottoman, stroking his long white beard and glancing round 
occasionally at me, and clapping his hands softly. He is very musical 
liimself. The walls of the drawing room were almost entirely 
covered with small oil paintings from floor to ceiling. 

At the earnest request of the Vicar the Poet read aloud to us his 
admirable poem describing how worthy Bloom the Miller went to 
London to see the great 'glassen house' and how he could not get 
into the omnibus by reason of his bulk, though he declared he was a 
poor starved Dorset man. We were all three in roars of laughter. 
Then to please me he read his beautiful poem called 'Happiness'. It 
is one of my favourites. He said that 'No So Y means 'No Souls', i.e. 
friends, neighbours. 'No So's/ 'No my friends/ He read in a low 
voice, rather indistinct and with much feeling. 'I like your pathetic 
pieces best/ said the Vicar. 'So do I,' said the Poet. 

He spoke of Tennyson's Northern Farmer. 'Tennyson/ he said, 
'even if he did not mean to ridicule the Northern Farmer, at least 
had no love for him and no sympathy with him/ Which is prob- 
ably true and a just criticism. The Poet went on to say that in all 
which he himself had written there was not a line which was not 
inspired by love for & kindly sympathy with the things and people 


described. And this is wholly true. All his poems are overflowing 
with love and tenderness towards the dear scenes and friends of his 

He said the cattle calls used to call the cows home at milking tine 
on the Wilts and Dorset, dairy farms are the same as those used in 

Then the Vicar of Fordington told us of the state of things in his 
parish when he first came to it nearly half a century ago. No man 
had ever been known to receive the Holy Communion.except the 
parson, the clerk and the sexton. There were 16 women communi- 
cants and most of them went away when he refused to pay them for 
coming. They had been accustomed there at some place in the 
neighbourhood to pass the cup to each other with a nod of the head. 
At one church there were two male communicants. When the cup 
was given to the first he touched his forelock and said, 'Here's your 
good health, Sir*. The other said, 'Here's the good health of our 
Lord Jesus Christ*. 

One day there was christening and no water in the Font. 'Water, 
Sir!' said the clerk in astonishment. 'The last parson never used no 
water. He spit into his hand. 1 

Friday, May Day 

This morning I had a nice letter from the Parshill Barracks from 
my dear young dragoon Frank Vincent. He says he is trying to 
follow my advice and to do right though there is a good deal of 
joking and laughing in the troop at his expense. 

Walking up and down the terrace with my Father telling him 
about the Poet Barnes and discussing with him the advisability of 
publishing a book of my own poems. I wish to do so. He rather 
discourages the idea. 

Saturday, May Morrow 

WenttoPeckingell. Found Austin a little better. He and his wife 
told me things about the parish which drew aside the veil from my 
eyes and showed me in what an atmosphere and abyss of wickedness 
we are living and how little many people are to be trusted whom we 
thought respectable and good. As the evening sunlight shone bright 
and searching across the lawn upon the lime the shadows of the leaves 
were cast strongly upon the tree trunk. Hie leaves were so brilliant 


that even their shadows showed a pale faint ghostly green. The 
shadows looked like the spirits of leaves without the body. 

Wednesday, 6 May 

Though I be tied and bound with the chain of my sin yet let the 
pitifulness of Thy Great mercy loose me. 

Tuesday, 12 May 

At the door of the White Lion Hotel in Bath we found a large 
crowd gathered round the donkey and cart of the nobleman organ- 
grinder. The disguised nobleman and his organ were putting up at 
die Hotel and the people were waiting for him to finish breakfast 
and to come out. No one knows who he is. There are many reports. 
Some say he is an Irish baronet, some that he is a Lord. It is believed 
that he has made a wager for .30,000 that he will go about for three 
years with the same donkey, and live by his earnings. People give 
him gold in the street and some days it is said he makes as much as 
15. Perhaps he has run through one fortune and taken this means 
of getting another. Or perhaps a fortune of .30,000 was left him 
to be inherited on this condition. 

Holy Thursday, 14 May 

I met in the drive this morning a poor Frenchman, pale, thin and 
lank. He said he was a soldier and had been taken prisoner at Sedan 
in September 1870 and sent to Schleswig Holstein. He was coming 
up to the Rectory to ask if there were any French people in the 
neighbourhood who would help him on his way to London. He 
had been sick and in the Bristol Infirmary and was now on his way 
home to Strasbourg, his native city. *My father lived there,' he 
said, 'but I fear he has gone away now.' I told him I had been to 
Strasbourg and talked to him about some of the people and places 
there. A bright pleased look came into his wan sorrowful face for a 
moment as his old home and native city and the great Cathedral rose 
before his eyes. But they were far away. He had many a weary 
mile to limp before he could see the old place again. SThe eager light 
faded and the sorrowful wistful suffering look came back into his 
eyes. He had been twice wounded with a bullet through the thigh 
and gash down the jaw. He asked me if I had heard 'the chicken cry* 
(the cock crow) on the clock in Strasbourg Cathedral when he saw 
St. Peter come round with the eleven apostles. He recognized with 
delight my description of the beautiful woman who kept a ohoto- 


graph shop in the corner house near the front of the Cathedral. *Ah,' 
he cried, 'Madame Tournon. But,' he said sadly, 'it is all gone now. 
It was bombarded in the siege/ 1 hope/ said the poor broken 
soldier with a sad and deep sigh, 'England will never see such a war 

as that/ 

Saturday, 16 May 

This day ten years ago I walked to Bath and back. This afternoon 
I drove with my Father to Seagry through the snowy May bushes 
and golden brown oaks and lovely hedgerows of Sutton Lane. 
Charles Awdry went with us to the river and Seagry Mill, and we 
lay back on the river bank talking while my Father fished. It was a 
glorious afternoon, unclouded, and the meadows shone dazzling 
like a golden sea in the glory of the sheets of buttercups. The deep 
dark river, still and glassy, seemed to be asleep and motionless except 
when a leaf or blossom floated slowly by. 

Expectation Sunday, 17 May 

We shall not have a more lovely Sunday than this has been. The 
hawthorn bushes were loaded with their sweet May snow, and in 
the glowing afternoon sun the sheets of buttercups stretched away 
under the bright elms like a sea of gold. 

Whitsun Day, 24 May 

After Church I visited and read to old John Hatherell and Hannah 
gave me a glass of their excellent parsnip wine. 

Whitsun Monday, 25 May 

At 9 o'clock I went through the mowing grass of the homefield 
(Cambridge's) to the John Knights' dairy and Fair Rosamund 
brought me a jug and glass and dipped me up some sweet warm 
whey as she used to do last summer. She and her mother were 
breaking curd and making cheese in the great tin tub. 

I went down to Greenway Lane Farm by the quiet meadows 
fragrant with the incense of evening prayers. How sweet and still 
and pure after the noise and dust and crowd and racket of the town, 
the fine and smart dresses, the tawdry finery, the flaunting ribbons 
and the uproar of the cheese market where the band was thundering 
and the dancers whirling. Here the sweet flowers were blossom- 
ing and the only sound was the birds singing very quietly. 

246 KILVERT'S DIARY y une 

Whitsun Tuesday, 26 May 

This afternoon the Rural Dean, Mr. Gray Lawson, came to visit 
and inspect our Church. I met the Churchwardens there at 2.30 
and while we were waiting for the Rural Dean Farmer John Bryant 
and I cut down with a penknife a young elm which was growing at 
the foot of the Chancel wall beneath the East window and thrust the 
tree hurriedly into the great laurel bush in the comer which is the 
receptacle for ah 1 rubbish and withered decorations. The dead ivy 
which has been lately cut has been falling from the Church walls in 
great dusty rubbishy flakes, but Churchwarden Jacob Knight went 
to the Church with Emma Halliday yesterday and tidied up a bit. 
Presently the Rural Dean came and asked many questions, examined 
the Church within and without narrowly, looked behind the doors 
and into the books and stamped upon the wooden flooring by the 
Langley House pew till I feared he might go down into the vaults 
beneath. He asked about the state of the Tower roof and I offered 
to go up the shaky old ladder with him but he wisely and hastily 
declined. As he was walking backwards looking up at the Tower 
he stumbled backwards among the graves and might have dashed 
out his brains against the great altar tombs had I not seized him by 
the arm and held him up. He said our Church was a singular 
instance of the morning congregation being larger than the after- 
noon one. Finally he said he had no fault to find and could not pick 
a hole in our coats. 

Croquet, tea and supper at Langley Green. 

Thursday, 28 May 

This morning as Thersie was in bed in the spare room, the shutters 
being closed, all but the small square hole cut in the shutters of the 
N.W. window, at the moment the postman came to the door at 
6.45 she saw the figures of two little men or a man and boy, very 
small, walking up the ceiling. When the postman left the door the 
shadows went down the ceiling again and disappeared. But when 
sufficient time had passed for the postman to reach the curve of the 
drive and the copper beech, the two little figures appeared on the 
ceiling for a moment again. We were not able to find out from 
the servant whether the postman had a boy with him this morning 
as she did not see him come. It was a curious optical effect and one 
difficult to account for as there was no light behind or below which 


could throw upon the ceiling of this room the shadow of any figure 
upon the drive. 

At the dairy it was butter morning and Fair Rosamund was 
making up the sweet rolls of rich golden butter. Mrs. Knight says 
the butter is so golden at this time of year because the cows eat the 
buttercups. The reason why the whey is so sweet and wholesome 
in May and June is because the grass is so full of flowers and young 
sweet herbs. When I go to the Common Farm to drink whey I 
think of my grandmother, my mother's mother Thermuthis Ashe, 
then a fair beautiful young girl, and how she used to come across 
the meadows from the Manor house to this very dairy and drink 
whey here every morning during the sweet May Month. 

Thursday, 4 June 

Went to Bristol with my Mother on a market ticket. She went 
to see Miss Evans at 6 Oakfield Place, and I to visit Janet Vaughan of 
Newchurch at the Clergy Daughters' School. On the way up to 
Great George St. where the C.D.S. is I went into the market to buy 
a nosegay of roses for Janet. As I was sitting in a confectioner's shop 
between the Drawbridge and College Green eating a bun I saw 
lingering about the door a barefooted child, a little girl, with fair 
hair tossed and tangled wild, an arch espiegle eager little face and 
beautiful wild eyes, large and grey, which looked shyly into the 
shop and at me with a wistful beseeching smile. She wore a poor 
faded ragged frock and her shapely limbs and tiny delicate beautiful 
feet were bare and stained with mud and dust. Still she lingered 
about the place with her sad and wistful smile and her winning 
beseeching look, half hiding herself shyly behind the door. It was 
irresistible. Christ seemed to be looking at me through the beautiful 
wistful imploring eyes of the barefooted hungry child. I took her 
out a bun, and I shall never forget the quick happy grateful smile 
which flashed over her face as she took it and began to eat. She said 
she was very hungry. Poor lamb. I asked her name and she told me, 
but amidst the roar of the street and the bustle of the crowded pave- 
ment I could not catch the accents of the childish voice. Never mind. 
I shall know some day. 

In Great George Street, leading out of Park St., I did not know at 
first where to 'find the Clergy Daughters* School, but the sound of 
two or three pianos guided me to the top of the street where stood 

2 4 S KiLVERT'S DIARY y utx 

a large old-fashioned red brick house in a pretty garden. Is Miss 
Vaughan at home?' 'Yes,* and I was shown upstairs into a room 
overlooking the basin and sweep of the vast smoky town and the 
dark grey battlements of the Cathedral Tower rising above the 
avenues of College Green. 

Presently I heard a sweet voice singing along the passages and Janet 
Vaughan came in much grown and with her hair cut short over the 
forehead, but unchanged in other ways and as sweet and simple and 
affectionate as ever. She gave me a long loving kiss and we sat down 
by the open window to talk. Then some ladies came in to see another 
of the gkls of the school and I sent Janet to ask if we might go out into 
the garden. Leave was given and we went out into a pretty garden 
at the back of the house with steep sloping lawns and shady winding 
walks under the trees. Janet took me down a steep path into a 
secluded walk, dark and shady, at the bottom of the garden, called 
in the school traditions the 'Poet's Retreat*. Here we walked up 
and down talking of Clyro and Gilfa and Newchurch and old times. 
Then girls came out into the garden with their books and work and 
soon all the shady nooks were full of light dresses and bright pretty 
faces and pleasant voices. 

The walk called the 'Poet's Retreat* was fringed with young trees 
upon some of which the girls had carved their initials. Upon the 
stem of a young beech whose bark was grimy black with Bristol 
smuts I carved Janet's initials J.V. and reluctantly at her earnest 
request my own R.F.K. above. 

Sunday, jjune 

I had only three from the village to night. Cissy Bryant, Emma 
Halliday and Martha Plank, and I spoke to them about temptation 
and the Temptation of Christ. 

Later the warm soft night was laden with perfume and the sweet 
scent of the syringa. 

Tuesday, 9 June 

Went with my mother and Dora and Lettice Hazel 1 to the Isle of 
Wight by Salisbury and Stokes Bay. The heat was intense. The 
Wiltshire downs and Salisbury Plain were white and glaring with 
drought and chalk and dust in the scorching blinding sun. Every- 
thing seemed parched and dried up by tie 2 months' drought 

1 A maidservant. 

l8?4 ] BATHING NAKED 249 

except some brilliant patches of crimson sainfoin which lighted up 
the white hot downs and burning Plain with the purple bloom and 
splendours of heather. At Heytesbury a young handsome intelli- 
gent gentlemanly farmer got into the carriage, a man with a ruddy 
face, light brown hair, merry blue eyes and a white puggery on his 
tat. We fell into talk about the strike and lock-out in the Eastern 
Counties and the much vexed labour and wages question. He was 
on his way to Salisbury Market. 

At Shanklin Station there was Lizzie James on the platform 
sailing to receive Lettice, unchanged since the old Llowes and 
Clyro days. And there were Gussie and Commerell to meet me and 
Mrs. Cowper Coles outside the Station Gate in her wheel chair 
given her by the Duchess of Norfolk. So we went up to their house 
Newstead together and it was very pleasant seeing them all. Mrs. 
Coles has got Newstead on a lease of 999 years. It is a pleasant well- 
arranged roomy airy house, very light and cheerful, near the edge 
of the ClifTwith glimpses of the bright blue sea between the houses 
in front. 

Thursday, ujune 

From the top of the hill how lovely was the view over Brading 
Harbour, the distant headlands and the white houses along their 
sides sparkling, as clear as crystal in the evening sunshine and the 
white winged boats moving slowly round the shores (their topsails 
showing over the green fields) or standing across the calm blue sea. 

Friday, 12 June 

Bathing yesterday and to-day. Yesterday the sea was very calm, 
but the wind has changed to the East and this morning a rough 
and troublesome [sea] came tumbling into the bay and plunging 
in foam upon the shore. The bay was full of white horses. At 
Shanklin one has to adopt the detestable custom of^bathing in 
drawers. If ladies don't like to see men naked why don't they keep 
away from the sight? To-day I had a pair of drawers given me which 
I could not keep on. The rough waves stripped them off and tore 
them down round my ancles. While thus fettered I wasjeized and 
flung down by a heavy sea which retreating suddenly left me lying 
naked on the sharp shingle from which I rose streaming with blood. 
.After this I took the wretched and dangerous rag off and of course 

250 KILVERT'S DIARY y une 

tliere were some ladies looking on as I came up out of the water. 

Thursday , 25 June 

Went to London by the 11.5 mail. I left my carpet-bag at die 
Paddington Cloak Room and went straight to the Academy ex- 
hibition at Burlington House which I reached shortly before 4 
o'clock. There was a great press of people, 100 or more, round 
Miss Thompson's famous picture 'Calling the Roll after the battle 
of Inkerman'. A policeman stands on duty all day by this picture 
from 10 o'clock till 6 in the evening saying, 'Move on, ladies. 
Ladies, please move on'. 

I met Teddy in the Exhibition and we dined together at the 
Criterion. Not a bed was to be got at the Great Western Hotel, so 
I put up at the Norfolk. 

Friday, 26 June 

Breakfasted with the Venables at 62 Warwick Square. 

At ten o'clock I went to Victoria to get a train for the Crystal 
Palace and the Handel Festival. I found a special train going, but 
it was so late in starting that we did not reach the Palace till 11.30 
when the doors had been open and all the best seats filled for half 
an hour. I was a long way from the Orchestra and on one side yet 
I heard all the 28 Choruses admirably. Some of the solos were 
almost inaudible and all sounded like faint voices coming out of a 
vast empty distance. Yet the duet 'The Lord is my Strength' 
between the two sopranos Madame Otto Alvsleben and Madame 
Lemmens Sherrington was lovely and the duet between the two 
basses Santley and Signer Foli The Lord is a Man of War' was 
grand, and Sims Reeves sang 'The Enemy said' as splendidly as ever. 
Madame Lemmens' voice pierced like lightning. To my mind the 
most marvellous part of this marvellous oratorio is the Chorus 
describing the plague of darkness. In the thick heavy muffled music 
you could feel the waves of darkness coming on. 

Dined with the Venables at 62 Warwick Square and met Tomkyns 
Dew and Capt., Mrs., and Miss Hope Adam. 

Saturday, 27 June 

I regret to say that against good advice and wise warning I went 
to see Holman Hunt's picture of the Shadow of Death. It was a 
waste of a good shilling. I thought the picture theatrical and detest- 


able and wished I had never seen it. Left London at 2 o'clock and 
by 7 was visiting the sick people in the village. 

Thursday } July Morrow 

As John Couzens was clipping the turf edges of the lawn and 
beds he told me how for months while he was at work in this place 
for us, some years ago now, the Devil had tempted him to destroy 
liimself. It came on first quite suddenly in Parson's Ground by the 
side of the old lane while he was cutting some flower sticks with a 
bill hook. He threw himself down on the ground in his misery, 
got away from his bill hook and at last dozed o His sleep and 
appetite went from -him, and he had no heart nor comfort in his 
work. He dared not be alone nor within reach of a knife for fear 
lie should cut his throat. He often brought Alice his wife down to 
be with him while he was at his work and could only rest quiet at 
night as long as he had his arm round her, for he feared the devil 
would come and carry him away. He was utterly miserable and 
one day he went down on his hands and knees behind the great 
Portugal laurel bush on the lawn by the copper beech (it is cut 
down since) and cried and prayed terribly and as if his heart would 
break. This trouble and temptation lasted some months. He did 
not know what made it come on suddenly then, for he was in good 
health and spirits. He believed God sent it. For he began to feel 
how wicked he had been, cursing and swearing and drinking as a 
young man. The Devil tempted him to destroy himself because he 
was so wicked. Once when he went up into the loft to throw down 
some straw he was tempted to make an end of himself by throwing 
himself down. 

'Master told me not to do anything that he didn't tell me, and 
not to do anything to myself, but what good were it to tell me that? 
Mr. Headley -came here one day and he said to me "Shake it oi 
John. Shake it off", but what good were that? That were easier 
said than done. 'Twere easy to say it.' Gradually the trouble and 
temptation passed away. I'm another man now,* he said, I've been 
a different man ever, since. But,' he said earnestly, striking his hand 
upon his shears, 1 wouldn't have any poor creature go through what 
I went through then, and I wouldn't go through a week of it again 
for all Squire Ashe's fortune.' 

Oh, how litde we know of the agonies that are being endured 
within a few yards of us. 


Friday, 3 July 

I think continually of Daisy. She is seldom out of my thoughts 
now. I remember her best and she comes to me most often as I 
saw her at home in March 1873 when I spent a night at her house 
I see even now her beautiful white bosom heaving under the lace 
edging of her dress, and the loose open sleeve falling back from her 
round white arm as she leaned her flushed cheek upon her hand 
looking anxiously at me as I coughed. I see her lean forward and 
hear the low anxious tone in which she asked, 'Does your cough 
hurt you?' I see her start up and fetch a lamp shade to keep the light 
from hurting my eyes. Sweet loving Daisy, sweet loving patient 
faithful Daisy. 

Saturday, lijuly 

To-day after 23 years I went to Britford again. 

The Vicar has in his house a fine collection of stuffed birds among 
which are a pair of peregrine falcons which were shot, of all places 
in the world, on the spire of Salisbury Cathedral. The workmen 
shot them out of the eight doors at the base of the spire when the 
steeple was being restored. The Cathedral is generally haunted by 
peregrines which come from the sea coast cliffs and sit upon the 
spire whence they can see all the country round and where they 
think themselves safe. Morris walked.with me to the Station in the 
evening and before us rose the great marvellous spire ever in sight 
across the flat meadows and beyond the river. 

In the town I bought at Decks' a pair of his ten shilling gutta- 
percha-soled elastic boots. 

Tuesday, 28 July 

This morning Teddy set up the net and poles in the field just 
opposite the dining room windows and we began to play 'sphairi- 
stike or lawn tennis, a capital game, .but rather too hot for a 
summer s day. 

Wednesday, 29 July 

Last night the rats most provokingly carried off into their hole the 
contents of two dishes of apricots which had been gathered yesterday 
for our croquet party to-day and left on a shelf in the dining-room 
closet. & 

When I went to the Farm to drink my whey this morning I told 
them of our loss. Mrs. Knight said that the rats went about over- 


head at night like race horses, and Mary declared that the walls 
of their lower cheese-room were lined with rats. 

The weather this afternoon was lovely, not too hot, a gentle air 
moving the silver birch, and bright gleams of sunshine threw 
beautiful shadows across the lawn and the meadows. The lawn 
tennis was a successful diversion and afforded a good deal of amuse- 
ment. About 30 people came, and we were disappointed of some 15. 

Wednesday, 5 August 
A splendid romp with Polly Tavener. 

Thursday, 6 August 

I received this evening a wild strange unhappy note from Susan 
Strange begging me to come and see her as soon as possible. She 
was worse and in some trouble of mind about herself. She was also 
troubled about her daughter Fanny who grieves her sadly by 
frequently lying and stealing. I told her she must correct the girl 
in time. 1 do flog her/ she said. 'And the other morning she was 
a naughty girl and her brother Joseph brought her in to me in her 
shimmy while I was in bed. I held her hands while Joseph and 
Charlie whipped her on her naked bottom as hard as ever they were 
able to flog her/ 

Friday, j August 

The pastures are burnt to a whitish livid green very pale and 
ghastly, but the clouds looked stormy and the sky was bright and 
lurid and wildly tumbled. 

Saturday, 8 August 

In the afternoon there was a very good cricket match on the 
Common between Langley Burrell and the Chippenham 2nd 
eleven. "We were beaten by 2 runs, and up to the last moment it 
was anybody's match. I scored. Just at the end of the match I got 
a message from Peckingell that little Fanny Strange had suddenly 
been taken ill and wanted to see me. I went immediately. The child 
was in bed upstairs. I sat down by the bed and took her little hot 
hand. She seemed very feverish but was quite sensible and appeared 
to be much softened and humbled. If so the severe chastisement 
she has undergone may have had a happy effect and have broken 
her self-will and cured her of her faults. Her parents very wisely 
have not spared her nor the rod. 


Monday, 10 August 

Today I went to Worthing to be present at Addie Cholmeley's 
wedding at Findon to-morrow. I left Chippenham at 10.15. At 
Salisbury I got into the train with a party of people going to South 
Sea and on the Island. There was an excellent old-fashioned bov 
in a chocolate jacket with a shiny peaked cap and a white ruffled 
frill standing out all round his neck like Punch s dog, a very refresh- 
ing sight in these degenerate days. 

As we journeyed along the fair Sussex shore between the plain 
and the sea the gleaners were busy in the golden stubbles, the wind- 
mills whirled their arms in the fresh sea breeze, the shocks of corn 
circling changed, pkces swiftly like a dance of fairies, and Chichester 
steeple rose fair and white far over the meads. 

I thought Worthing Station pretty, light and elegant, with its 

vandyked glass roofs over the platforms. I drove at once to n 

Church Terrace, Mrs. Smallwood's, the lodgings which Adelaide 

has taken and which she gives up to John Cholmeley and myself 

while she is at Findon Rectory for 2 days for the wedding. After 

tea and mutton chops I went out to the beach to view the town and 

the sea. I walked westward to the end of the esplanade. A heavy 

. wrack of dark cloud drove up from the west promising a stormy 

night and I turned my solitary steps homeward or lodgingward. 

And all the while, sweet Kathleen Mavourneen, thou wert in 

Worthing and near to me and I knew it not. But then I knew not 

thee, nor what happiness was in store for me in God's Providence. 

But had I not been a stricken fool I should have gone to Vaynona 

and been rewarded by seeing thee there. 

Tuesday, 11 August 

Addie Cholmeley's wedding day. This may be one of the happiest 
and most important days in my life, for to-day I fell in love at first 
sight with sweet Kathleen Mavourneen. 

At the time appointed Miss Cholmeley came to the door with her 
brother Waldo and drove me to Findon, John Cholmeley coming 
afterwards with his sister Clara (Mrs. Heanley). After a pleasant 
drive of 4 miles the carriage put us* down at the Churchyard gate. 
In the Church we found Robert Heanley, the best man. I took a 
fancy to him at once for his pleasant frank open face. After we had 
been waiting in Church for some time he advised me to go out into 


the porch to watch the bridesmaids arrive and to be made acquainted 
with the young lady who was to be my companion for the day, I 
being one of the five groomsmen. So I went, little thinking whom 
I was to meet, and what a difference it would make to me. 

A pretty bevy of bridesmaids was seen coming up the path in 
white and green. 'There,' said Miss Sarah Cholmeley to me, 'there 
is your bridesmaid, the tall dark one behind on the right hand side.* 
They came up and we were introduced. She was a tall handsome 
girl with very dark hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, and beautiful 
bright grey eyes, a thin high aristocratic nose, a sweet firm rosy 
mouth, beautiful white teeth, a well developed chin, a dear com- 
plexion and fresh colour. That was Kathleen Mavourneen as I first 
saw her. I noticed afterwards that she wore pearl earrings. 

[The wedding is described.] 

In the afternoon almost all the wedding party went up to that 
fine clump and height of the Downs callea Chanctonbury Ring. 
Part of the way we drove and we walked up the steepest part. 
Kathleen was still my sweet companion. Under the lee of the clump 
I spread my coat on the turf and we sat there together on the hillside 
apart from the rest and looked over the wide and glorious landscape, 
bright plain and green pasture, blue hill and golden corn and stubble 
fields, till she could see over rich and variegated plain the white line 
of the Grand Stand on Epsom Downs some 30 miles away. And 
there we sat and talked and looked into each other's eyes and there 
I fell in love and lost my heart to the sweetest noblest kindest 
bravest-hearted girl in England, Kathleen Mavourneen. Chancton- 
bury, sweet Chanctonbury, thou wilt always be a green and beauti- 
ful spot in my memory. How sweet she was, how simple, kind, 
unaffected and self-unconscious, how thoughtful for everyone 
but herself, and so careful lest Montie on his crutches should trip 
over the roots in the wood. She spoke of her favourite In Memoriam 
and told me some of her difficulties and how deeply she regretted the 
enforced apparent idleness ofher life, and I loved her a hundred times 
better for her sweet troubled thoughts and honest regretful words. 

1 feel/ she said, 'as if I had known you a long time through your 
letters to Adele. She used to talk of you a great deal to me. She was 
very fond of you/ I felt as if our souls were drawing together on 
the hillside and I thanked God that in His love and mercy He had 


brought us face to face and made our paths to cross. In His great 
mercy may they unite and remain one for ever. Oh, that this 
companionship of a day may grow and ripen into a companionship 
for life. Several little things happened during the day which led 
me to hope that she did not dislike me. She asked me to gather her 
a bunch of purple heather from the hillside. As we were driving 
home down the steep green down the wind blew cold and fresh as 
it met her, and she looked so sweet and grateful when I wrapped my 
coat round her to keep her warm. 

When I was talking to Adelaide in her hearing in the drawing 
room about the Herefordshire wedding to which I was going, 
Kathleen turned sharply round as if she were pained and did not 
want me to go. What conceit. As if she cared. But love can live 
on very slender nourishment. 

We came back from Chanctonbury Ring to Findon Rectory to 
high tea, after which I had a happy hour with Kathleen in the 
drawing room. She and Jessie Russell asked me to become a member 
of their Mutual Improvement Society, and we arranged all the details. 

When the party broke up and I was returning to Worthing with 
Mrs. Heanley and Miss Penelope Cholmeley, Kathleen kissed her 
mother fondly at the door and said to me, 'If you are going in my 
mother's carriage please not to let her talk, it isn't good for her* , Then 
she took me back into the dining room to shew me one of the pretty 
ornaments of the wedding cake that I had not seen at breakfast. 
After which she gave me one of the silver-leaved white orange 
flowers off the cake, and what I prized more than all she gave me 
unasked one precious stephanotis flower out of one of the bridal 
bouquets, a flower that I will keep till we are married if that should 
be God's will for us, and in any case until I die. At breakfast she 
had said to me as we rose from table, 'Take care of that cracker, 
don't let it be lost*. And I have that too and a motto out of one of 
the crackers which we pulled together and which she gave me to 
read. We parted with a long close warm clasp of hands that I felt 
was friendly and hoped might be affectionate. 

We had a dark silent drive back to Worthing. No one spoke. 
We were all full of our own thoughts. 

Wednesday, 12 August 
In the night there was a torrent of rain but the morning broke 


clear and beautiful. I went out early into the town before breakfast 
and walked along the beach. Sea and town and everything were 
sparkling bright and clean after the storm in the dear shining after 
the rain. The bathing machines were running down into the sea, 
the sailors were busy about their boats and nets, and the sailors* 
wives sat working in the sunshine by their husbands' boats. Children 
were trooping out on to the beach before breakfast and everything 
looked bright, cheerful, busy and happy. 

After breakfast I parted with John Cholmeley and wrote a note to 
Adelaide telling her of my love for Kathleen. 

I left Worthing at 9.27. How much has happened since I entered 
it a few short hours ago, and how entirely everything is changed 
for me. Since I have been in love with Kathleen everything seems 
bright and beautiful, and I feel that I can love God and man better 
than I ever could before. 

Sunday, 16 August 

This morning I had a kind loving letter from Adelaide giving me 
some hope and encouragement about Kathleen which made me 
very happy for the rest of the day. I wrote a long letter to her on 
the same subject. 

Friday, 21 August 

Went with Dora to Clifton to spend the day with Adelaide at 
I Carlton Place. After an early dinner we went out on to the 
Clifton down and while the rest of the party accompanied by Anna 
went down into the slush and mire and darkness of the Giant's 
Cave, Adelaide and I sat on one of the seats on the edge of the Cliff 
looking down upon the Suspension Bridge talking of Kathleen 
Mavourneen. I shall never now see the Suspension Bridge from the 
Cliff without thinking of Kathleen. 

Saturday ', 29 August 

Dora and I drove into the town. and to the station to meet 
Thersie 1 who came up this evening to stay with us while Monmng- 
ton Rectory is being prepared for them. 

Monday, 31 August , 

When I went out with Jock this morning to walk across tfce 
common before break&st there as usual were the three white 
riddling lambs lying round the white gate. Immediately the three 
i Kflvert's sister Thersie (ItennilhiO was die wife of die Rev, W. R. Smith. 

2 5 8 KILVERT'S DIARY [Sept. 

bold white lambs began to play with the black dog, to hunt him 
about and butt him sportively, while the dog with his ears laid back 
pretended to be afraid of the lambs, ran away from them, bounded 
back, faced them and occasionally took one of them by the ear. 

I love to wander on these soft gentle mournful autumn days, 
alone among the quiet peaceful solitary meadows, tracing out the 
ancient footpaths and mossy overgrown stiles between farm and 
hamlet, village and town, musing of the many feet that have trodden 
these ancient and now well nigh deserted and almost forgotten ways 
and walking in the footsteps of the generations that have gone before 
and passed away. 

The monument to David Ricardo in Harnish Churchyard cost 
2000. The design was brought by Mr. Ricardo himself from a 
tomb in Rome. The four figures were- supposed to be marble and 
the price of marble was paid for them, but Francis Hull declares that 
once when he was set to clean the figures the surface began to shale 
off, he found they were made of composition and was obliged to 
stop his work. After this discovery the figures were boarded up 
every winter lest they should be cracked by the frost. The canopy is 
grey granite. The sculptor, Mr. Pitts, destroyed himself afterwards. 

Monday, 7 September 

Went to the Farm, drank whey in the dairy, paid Jacob Knight 
2 2s. for the use of the cricket ground on the Common, and took 
a game fowl's egg to Elizabeth Knight. As I returned I heard in 
Greenway Lane the old familiar sound once so common, the sound 
of the flail on the bam floor. I had not heard it for years. I looked 
in at the barn door and found a man threshing out his barley. 

[After a round of visits Kilvert arrives at Clyro.] 

Sunday, 13 September 

I asked leave of the Vicar to go to Bettws Chapel this afternoon 
to preach in the old Chapel once more that I might have an 
opportunity of seeing some of my dear old friends. 

As I came down the deep hollow lane between the Bird's Nest 
Dingle and Court Evan Gwynne I heard voices of women on the 
high bank above me coming up the field path home from evening 
Church. Then my own name struck my ear. 'They do say Mr. 
Gilvert was in Church this morning', said a familiar voice in the 
dusk. 'Here he is,' I called laughingly from below. It was pretty 

!g74] ABEREDW 259 

and touching to see the delight of the women. They stretched their 
hands down lovingly to cksp mine and seemed as if they would 
have broken through the hedge in their eagerness and enthusiasm. 
'Well,' cried a tall handsome woman, 'well, I did never see such a 
thing. I was just speaking your name and here you are. I have 
thought of you,' she added lovingly, *I have thought of you fresher 
this week than for a long time. And here you are come/ 

Monday, 14 September 

Villaging in the morning. 

At noon I started with Morrell and the Vicar and Curate (Prickard 
and Trumper) to walk to Aberedw across the hills. It was one of 
the loveliest days I ever saw and the mountains were" in all their 
beauty of light and tender blue. We sat to take our luncheon upon 
the turf of the Beacons beside a tinkling rivulet over against Llanbedr 
Church. A sweet fresh wind was moving upon the hills and brilliant 
gleams of green and purple cloud shadows were flying upon the 
great landscape. In the narrow green sunny lanes the nuts still hung 
from the hazel tree and a small fanner driving a herd of fat red oxen 
put us into the right way with the beautiful courtesy of Radnorshire. 
Below us Bychllyn Pool lay in its hollow like a silver shield and the 
heather was blooming purple upon the hills. Over the rolling moor 
rose the pointed cone of Penpicca Hill and we came down into the 
grand amphitheatre which embosoms the twin valleys and the 
meeting of the sweet waters of the Edw and the Wye. From 
Aberedw we walked by the river side and the Nith to Erwood 
where we took the train to Hay. 

Wednesday, 16 September 

Visited poor Amy Powell who is in deep grief for the recent loss 
of her daughter Lizzie. Went to see Gina Beaven, the Mintons, 
Catherine Williams, Naomi Williams, John, Mrs. Thomas, Miss 
Morgan at the Post Office, Mrs. John Powell, Mrs. Jones and James 
Jones at the Infant School, Jones the shoemaker and Caroline Price. 
In the afternoon I went to see Miss Chaloner, Hannah Whitney, 
Ada Chaloner, Mrs. Williams at the Lower House, old John Morgan 
the soldier at the Bronith, Mrs. Watkeys, and then on to Upper 
Cabalva, Annie had come down from Llywn Gwillim. Mr. Dyke, 
Willie and Johnnie came home from the sheep fair at Hay, with Mr. 


Wall. Lucretia Wall came down fropi the Chapel, and we had a 
merry tea party. 

Thursday, 17 September 

Went to Llysdinam. I never had a lovelier journey up the lovely 
valley of the Wye. A tender beautiful haze veiled the distant hills 
and woods with a gauze of blue and silver and pearl. It was a dream 
of intoxicating beauty. I saw all the old familiar sights, the broad 
river reach at Boughrood flashing round the great curve in the sun- 
light over its hundred steps and rock ledges, the luxuriant woods 
which fringe the gleaming river lit up here and there by the golden 
flame of a solitary ash, the castled rock-towers and battlements and 
bastions of the Rocks of Aberedw, the famous rocky wooded gorge 
through the depths of which the narrow mountain stream of the 
Edw rushed foaming to its Aber to meet the Wye, the house of 
Pant Shorn gleaming white through the apple-laden orchard trees, 
the green Castle Mount, Llanvareth Church half hidden by its great 
dark yew, the sudden bend of the river below Builth, tie Yrfon 
mouth above the little ancient town, and last but not least the grey- 
towered house of Llysdinam sitting on its green sunny hill backed 
by dark woods, and looking towards the river and the mountains 
of the South. 

[Kilvert returns to Langley Burrdl.] 
Thursday, 24 September 

This afternoon I walked over to Kington St. Michael by Langley 
Burrcll Church and Morrell Lane and the old Mausoleum and Lang- 
ley Ridge and the Plough Inn. It was a day of exceeding and 
almost unmatched beauty, one of those perfectly lovely afternoons 
that we seldom get but in September or October. A warm delicious 
calm and sweet peace brooded breathless over the mellow sunny 
autumn afternoon and the happy stillness was broken only by the 
voices of children blackberry gathering in an adjoining meadow 
and the sweet solitary singing of a robin. 

As I drew near Kington I fell in with a team of red oxen, harnessed, 
corning home from plough with chains rattling and the old plough- 
man riding the fore ox, reminding me vividly of the time when I 
used to ride the oxen home from plough at Lanhill. 

In spite of the warm afternoon sunshine the solitary cottages, low- 
lying on the brook, looked cold and damp, but the apples hung 

1874] BRISTOL 261 

bright on the trees in the cottage gardens and a Virginia creeper 
burned like fire in crimson upon die wall, crimson among the green. 
When I returned home at night the good Vicar accompanied me 
as far as die Plough Inn. The moon was at the full. The night was 
sweet and quiet. Overhead was the vast fleecy sky in which the 
moon was riding silendy and the stillness was broken only by the 
occasional pattering of an acorn or a chestnut through the leaves to 
the ground. 

Monday, Michaelmas Eve 

This morning I had a kind thoughtful letter from Adelaide from 
i Carlton Place, Clifton, saying she thought it selfish not to let me 
know that Kathleen Mavourneen is within an hour's journey of me. 
staying with her, and asking me if I could trust myself to go down 
and see her and spend a day with her. So I am going and I shall see 
her again. 

Thursday, October Day, 

This morning I went to Bristol to spend the day with Adelaide 
and Kathleen Mavourneen at i Carlton Place, Clifton. I took 
Adelaide down a basket of flowers and fruit, plums and grapes, and 
soon Kathleen Mavourneen was busied arranging the flowers in 
vases. She was looking very pretty and was most sweet and kind 
in her manner. 

After a heavy storm the weather cleared and we projected a visit 
to St. Mary Redcliffe on my way to the Station. Adelaide, Kathleen, 
Elk and I went down in a cab, a merry laughing party. The Church 
is still under repair, the roof of the nave being now nearly restored. 
The verger said the Church had been under the workmen's hands 
for the last 45 years, a thousand pounds being spent every year. 
We struck the sounding pillars near the Confessional, but they do 
not ring as they did formerly. Kathleen, Ella and I ascended the 
spiral staircase to the Muniments Room and saw the old worm- 
eaten remnants of the chests in which Chatterton *the marvellous 
boy, the sleepless soul that perished in his pride 1 averred that he had 
discovered the poems of Rowley the monk. 

And there in the great windy dusty room as we looked out 
through the mullions of the glassless windows over the murky 
smoky misty city there came a sweet reminiscence of the sunny Kill- 
side of Chanctonbury Ring on the afternoon of the Findon wedding 

262 KILVERT'S DIARY [O rt . 

day. It was a reminiscence of Sir Walter Raleigh's Cloak which on 
that day had done good and sweet service, in the carriage and on the 
turf of the hillside. 

Friday, 2 October 

Prostrate with neuralgia. 

Our ginger plant is now in magnificent blossom, a curious 
tendrilled flower like an orchis, and the scent so strong that we have 
"been obliged to turn the plant from the dining into the drawing 
room and thence into the hall. 

Sunday, 4 October 

Much better, but still weak. 

This morning I had a kind letter from Adelaide from Clifton 
and Kathleen enclosed some hymns she had copied out for me and 
some references to passages in our favourite In Memoriam. 

Monday, 5 October 

Hannah Hood uses a curious word for 'gulp'. She says, 1 took 
two or three "glutches" of port wine'. 

This month there is in the Cornhill Magazine an article on Crabbe's 
poetry. My Father says he remembers staying with the Longmires 
at Wingfield about the year 1830. They took him one afternoon to 
a. book sale at Trowbridge, of which parish the poet Crabbe was 
then Rector. In the evening the whole party adjourned to the Rec- 
tory, where they found Crabbe playing whist with three friends in 
a large drawing room. Crabbe's son (who was acting as his father's 
curate) was present, a keen-looking laughable man, an exaggerated 
likeness of Henry Dew. He came forward to receive the visitors 
while Crabbe continued his game. My Father describes the poet as 
being a small plain insignificant-looking old man, bald and with a 
whitish yellow complexion. 

Wednesday, 7 October 

For some time I have been trying to find the right word for the 
shimmering glancing twinkling movement of the poplar leaves in 
the sun and wind. This afternoon I saw the word written on the 
poplar leaves. It was 'dazzle'. The dazzle of the poplars. 

Saturday, 17 October 
This evening I had a kind note from Mrs. Heanley enclosing some 


of Kathleen's Mutual Improvement Questions and Answers and 
better still a beautiful and thoughtful comparison in dear Kathleen's 
own words of the views from Clifton Downs and Chanctonbury 
Bong. Her sweet pure thoughts came to me at a time when I sorely 
needed them and they have done me much good. But they show 
me only still more clearly what I have often felt before, how much 
nobler and holier her thoughts are than mine, and how much 
higher she has climbed up the hill than I have done. Yet I am trying 
to follow, and I thank God that I ever knew her and (I hope I may 
say) won her friendship. She has indeed been, unconsciously, a good 
and guardian angel to me. Sweet Kathleen Mavourneen, God bless 

Wednesday, 21 October 

John Hatherell said he remembered playing football with the men 
on Sunday evenings when he was a big boy and the Revd. Samuel 
Ashe, the Rector, trying to stop the Sunday football playing. He 
would get hold of the ball and whip his knife into the bladder, but 
there was another bladder blown the next minute. 'Well', said the 
Rector in despair, 'it must go on.* 

Friday, 23 October 

When the Squire came to see John Hatherell last Sunday he re- 
minded the old man of the nights they patrolled the roads together 
45 years ago during the machine-brealong riots. Robert Ashe led 
a patrol of six men one Mf the night, and Edward Ashe headed 
another patrol of equal strength the other half. One night when 
Robert Ashe was patrolling the village with his men and keeping 
watch and guard against the machine-breakers and rioters, who were 
expected from Christian Malford and other villages, he seized by 
mistake old Mr. Eddels, taking him in the dark for a machine- 
breaker or incendiary. The old man had come out at night in the 
innocence of his heart to get some straw from his rickyard, 

Wednesday, 28 October 

This morning we held a family conclave and indignation meeting 
about the Church singing. At kst we resolved that as Mr. Ashe has 
practically dismissed George JefFeries from his post as leader of the 
singing and rendered it impossible for the singing to go on upon the 
old footing, we must rather than give up singing in the service have 
a harmonium or some instrument in the Church, whether he Hkes 


it or not. We are prepared to give up the living and leave the place 
should we be obliged to do so rather than submit any longer to this 
tyranny. I don't think it will come to this. No such luck as to leave 
Langley. We should all be better and happier elsewhere, more inde- 
pendent and what is most important of all we should have more 
self-respect. For my own part I should for many reasons be glad 
and thankful to go. I don't know how it will end. I suppose I shall 
stay here as long as my Father lives, no longer. 

Thursday, 29 October 

At 8.30 this morning we sent the harmonium to the Church on 
the trucks with John and George and soon after 10 o'clock Fanny 
and I followed to see where it ought to be placed and hear how it 
sounded. Though a small instrument it quite filled the Church with 
sound. We placed it in the Baptistery close by the Font. This 
morning was an epoch in the history of Langley Church and the 
first sound of an instrument within the old walls an event and sensa- 
tion not soon to be forgotten. How this innovation, necessary 
though it has become, will be received by the Squire no one can 
tell. He has forced us to do it himself and opened the way for the 
change by dismissing George Jefferies, the chief singer, from his 
post of leader of the Church singing, but we expect some violence 
of language at least. 

Carried Annie Savine a rice pudding and some old linen to bind 
up her face and Elizabeth Bourchier's leg. 

Sunday, Allhallowmas Day 1874 

All has gone off well. Fanny played the harmonium nicely and 
the singing was capital. The congregation were delighted and some 
of them could hardly believe their ears and the Squire said nothing 
for or against, but he came to Church twice, 

Monday , 2 November 

By the 12.40 train I went down to Keynsham with my Father on 
on our way to pay a visit to Aunt Emma at Dr. Fox's private 
lunatic asylum at Brislington. The morning was dull, thick and 
gloomy, threatening rain, but just before we got into Bath a sun- 
beam stole across the world and lighted the Queen of the West 
with the ethereal beauty of a fairy city, while all the land blazed 
gorgeous with the brilliant and many coloured trees. Almost in 
a moment the dull dark leaden sky was replaced by a sheet of 

i874] AT THE ASYLUM 265 

brilliant blue and the lovely city shone dazzling and lustrous upon 
the hill sides, her palaces veiled with a tender mist and softened by 
delicate gleams of pearl and blue. 

As we walked up from Keynsham to Brislington my Father told 
me he had heard his grandmother say that she remembered the 
time in the middle of the i8th century when the only public con- 
veyances were stage waggons. She remembered the stage waggon 
that plied between Bath and Bristol and spent a whole day on the 
journey, stopping for dinner at Keynsham, and returning from 
Bristol to Bath the next day. This same old lady, my great-grand- 
mother, I have heard my Father say, could remember the Royal 
troops passing through Bath on tneir way to meet the Young 
Pretender when he was out in *the '45*. 

Brislington Asylum is a fine palatial-looking building very 
beautifully situated on the high ground between Keynsham and 
Bristol, and the grounds are large and well kept. I was glad to see 
and renew my acquaintance with Mrs. Hopton, the matron, who 
was once housekeeper at Sydney College. She told us that it was 
a bad day with Aunt Emma who was in unusually good health, 
therefore more violent and excitable than usual. She asked us to 
go out into the garden to see her where she was sitting quietly, 
rather than bring her into the house where she might make a great 
noise, Mrs. Hopton accompanied us out on to a nice large kwn, in 
which stood a magnificent weeping willow. There was a high 
ivied wall running round three sides of this kwn and the house 
bounded it on the fourth. 

Aunt Emma was sitting on a low seat in a sunny corner doing 
some work, with a cat or two cats on her lap. She appeared to me 
dingily dressed in black and she wore a hideous brown straw mush- 
room hat. She started up full of her grievances at once but stopping 
to say to me, 'There is a great friend of yours here. Mrs. Hopton 
has quite lost her heart to you , while poor Mrs. Hopton turned 
round and round and did not know which way to look. Aunt 
Emma said she had been pkced and was kept at Brislington by a 
conspiracy and by the Government who must all have their heads 
cut off. She was in daily danger of her life and was cursed and 
sworn at for a 'damned bitch'. She had just been hunted out of the 
house like a wild beast. Mrs. Bullock and Mrs. Ford were m con- 
spiracy against her life, and Dr. Charles Fox s. Dr. Charles dared 


not sleep in his own house for fear of being murdered and he was 
obliged to sleep in the asylum every night. 

As we walked up and down the lawn, Aunt Emma in the middle 
holding each of us by the arm, I heard a strange uproar proceeding 
from the house. It sounded at first like a woman's voice in voluble 
expostulation and argument, then loud impassioned entreaty rising 
swiftly into wild passionate despairing cries, which rent the air for 
some time and then all was still. When we went into Mrs. Hopton's 
room to have a cup of tea Aunt Emma accompanied us to the garden 
door of the house and knocked loudly and imperiously till a maid 
servant came. 'I must go back and collect my work', she said to us. 
'I will follow you directly. Let the door remain unlocked for a few 
minutes*, she said authoritatively to the servant. 'Very well, Miss', 
answered the girl. Presently came a knock at the door of Mrs. 
Hopton's room where we were at tea. Mrs. Hopton rose and went 
to the door, then with an astonished look and an angry flush on her 
face she threw the door wide open and announced Aunt Emma. 
*But', she muttered aside, 'how did you get in? This is against all 
rule/ She went out to reprove the maid for leaving the door 

'Did you see another lady in the garden when we went out?' 
Mrs. Hopton asked me. 'No, I saw no one/ 'She saw you and 
called you by your Christian name, "Frank Kilvert, Frank Kilvert". 
I went to her and got her indoors immediately/ 'But who is it?' 

* Well, you must not let it go any further but her name is / 

I lifted up my hands in sorrow and amazement. Is it possible? And 
were hers those piteous passionate despairing cries that I heard? 
Poor child, poor child. If I had only known. Poor beautiful 
unfortunate . 

Tuesday, 3 November 

This morning between breakfast and luncheon I walked up to 
Bowood to see the beeches by way of the Cradle Bridge, Tytherton 
Stanley and Studley Hill. I went into Bowood Park by the Studley 
Gate and turned sharp to the left down a drive that brought me soon 
into the very heart and splendour of the beeches. As the sun shone 
through the roof of beech boughs overhead the very air seemed gold 
and scarlet and green and crimson in the deep pkces of the wood 
and the red leaves shone brilliant standing out against the splendid 


blue of the sky. A crowd of wood pigeons rose from the green and 
misty azure hollows of the plantation and flapped swiftly down the 
glades, the blue light glancing off their clapping wings. I went by 
the house down to the lakeside and crossed the water by the hatches 
above the cascade. From the other side of the water the lake shone 
as blue as the sky and beyond it rose from the water's edge the grand 
bank of sloping woods glowing with colours, scarlet, gold, orange 
and crimson arid dark green. Two men were shing on the further 
shore of an arm of the lake and across the water came the hoarse 
belling of a buck while a coot fluttered skimming along the surface 
of the lake with a loud cry and rippling splash. 

To eye and ear it was a beautiful picture, the strange hoarse 
belling of the buck, the fluttering of the coot as she skimmed the 
water with her melancholy note, the cry of the swans across the 
lake; the clicking of the reels as the fishermen wound up or let out 
their lines, the soft murmur of the woods, the quiet rustle of the 
red and golden drifts of beech leaves, the rush of the waterfall, the 
light tread of the dappled herd of deer dark and dim glancing across 
the green glades from shadow into sunlight and rustling under the 
beeches, and the merry voices of the Marquis's children at pky. 

Why do I keep this voluminous journal? I can hardly tell. Partly 
because life appears to me such a curious and wonderful thing that 
it almost seems a pity that even such a humble and uneventful life 
as mine should pass altogether away without some such record as 
this, and partly too because I think the record may amuse and 
interest some who come after me. 

Wednesday, 4 November 

This evening I had my first Wednesday winter evening service 
and lecture at the school and reviewed the events of the last seven 
months, the funeral of Dr. Livingstone, the visit of the Czar, the 
Spanish war, the Thorpe railway disaster, the explosion of benzaKne 
and gunpowder on the Regent's Park Canal, the Bengal Famine, 
shipwrecks and collisions at sea, the Cherson, the Candahar and 
Kingsbridge, etc. 

Sunday, 8 November 

At Morning Church there was a pleasant sight. Vincent, the 
Langley Burrell policeman, who is not often able to attend service 
was there with all his sons and amongst them Frank the fine hand- 


some young dragoon in his bright scarlet uniform home on 

After morning service Dora went out to Mr. Ashe in the church- 
yard and asked him to head the subscription list to buy a new 
harmonium. He said that "neither he nor any of his household 
should give a farthing for he disapproved of any music in a church 
beside the human voice and he also apprehended a chronic diffi- 
culty in -finding some one to play the instrument. I walked from 
church with dear Sarah Hicks to her house at the Pound. 'Oh', she 
said earnestly, with indignant tears swelling in her beautiful large 
dark eyes, 'oh, it's a comfort to know that there's a time coming 
when no one will be able to reign over us and when we shall be as 
good as those who are so high and proud over us now/ Patience, 
dear Sarah, patience a little while longer. And then 

Monday, 9 November^ Teddy s birthday 

Dora went to the Woods and to the John Knights* this morning 
collecting subscriptions for the harmonium. Mr. "Wood was from 
home, but the Knights came forward most handsomely. Every 
member of the family at home put down his or her name and the 
sum of their contributions amounted to a guinea. I was greatly 
touched for I know it is quite as much -as they can afford. This 
afternoon I went to the Barrow with the subscription paper and 
left it there. When I stated that the Squire had declined to give 
anything young John Bryant burst into a scornful laugh. The 
Churchwarden took his eldest son Tom aside to the window to look 
over the subscription list in the fading light and promised to return 
it to-morrow. Alice Couzens volunteered sixpence and said that 
other cottagers would like to help. 

Tuesday, 10 October 

The subscription list was returned from the Barrow at breakfast 
time this morning signed with the names of almost all the Bryant 
family, their subscriptions amounting in all to ^i. This is very 
kind and liberal for they are not rich and they have had heavy losses 
this summer, three cows amongst the rest. Called on the Lawrences 
to ask for a subscription for the harmonium. They were very kind 
and readily gave me 12/6. Then Mrs. Lawrence burst forth with a 
harangue and her views upon Church Music. 1 like the music in 
Church. I don't like everything to be so melancholy, melancholy. 


I iiad rather hear a good whistle in Church than nothing. I knew 
two young ladies who whistled beautifully a first and a second. No, 
they didn't whistle in Church/ 

Wednesday, n November. Martinmas Day 
We are in trouble at the school now because a few days ago Mr. 
Ashe came angrily in to Miss Bland the schoolmistress and ordered 
her always to keep all three windows and the door of the schoolroom 
open during schooltime, except in very cold weather when one 
window might be shut. He said in a fierce determined way, 'This is 
my school and I will have my word attended to. If you don't do 
as I tell you, Miss Bland, instead of being your friend 1*11 be your 
enemy*. What a speech for an elderly clergyman. It is almost 
incredible. And there are the poor little children crying with the 
cold. Cruel. Barbarous. And of course the parents are indignant 
and the numbers of the children falling off. 

Thursday, 12 November 

Mrs. Banks said the Squire had been very unkind to her. He had 
sent her some rough notes about the cream being bad and com- 
plained fiercely of the pigs straying into the woods. 

This evening in reply to my letter to Llysdinam I got a most kind 
letter from Mrs. Venables enclosing 2.2 for our harmonium, ji 
from herself, io/- from Mrs. Henry Venables, 6/- from dear litde 
Katie, and Mr. Venables who got the P.O.O. made the money 
even. What a difference in the spirit and atmosphere of Llysdinam 
and Langley House. 

Monday, 16 November 

This afternoon I called at Rowlings for the Matthews' subscrip- 
tion to the harmonium, io/- heartily given and more cordially 
offered if wanted. Alice Matthews said quaintly, 'How strange it is 
that the Squire is such a distant man about music*. 

Thursday, 19 November 

At last the new harmonium has come. Mr. Rooke the maker 
brought it up from Weymouth to-day. Our churchwarden Jacob 
Knight, his uncle Thomas Knight, and his cousin Ral|>h Knight 
and I assembled at the Church between one and two o dock and 
there we had to wait an hour and half before the harmonium came 
up from the Station in a low cart under the care of Mr. Rooke, our 
John, and one of the Company's men. 


At last the harmonium hove in sight and with a long pull and 
strong pull and a pull all together we carried it from the road to the 
porch and there unpacked it. The instrument was placed in a little 
seat behind the pillar at the west end of the Church where by taking 
out the back of the seat we made a little chamber for it. 

Sunday, 22 November 

A raw cold foggy frosty morning and to-day we had the first 
fire in Church. The Squire came in with Mrs. Ashe and Syddie as 
usual, but as soon as he saw or smelt the fire in the stove he turned 
round and went hastily out again. This morning our new har- 
monium was played in Church for the first time. It is a beautiful 
instrument with a soft sweet tone and Fanny managed it very well 
I think the people were pleased and Mrs. Ashe and Syddie whom 
we saw after the service said they liked the instrument very much. 
The singing of the Choir and the congregation in the Old Hun- 
dredth Psalm and the Trinity Hymn was especially good and hearty. 

Tuesday, 24 November 

In the afternoon I walked over to Kington St. Michael to see the 
sick Vicar. He was better and downstairs in the drawing room. 
He was as full of life and fun as ever and told me he had heard his 
mother say that my great-great-grandmother, old Mrs. Martyn of 
Kennet, once sent to my great-grandmother, Mrs. Ashe of Langley 
Burrell, her daughter, a pair of earrings by broad-wheeled waggon, 
the only public conveyance in those days. 

Tuesday, December Day, 

My Mother writes from Monnington that William had just been 
at a clerical meeting at Mr. Phillott's, the Rector of Stanton-on- 
Wye, and came back not very deeply impressed by the brilliancy of 
some of the Herefordshire Clergy. 

She mentions too a story which seems almost incredible but 
which she states is well known to be true. Mr. Ormerod, the 
Rector of Presteign, who has a living of 1000 a year but who is 
nevertheless always over head and ears in debt, has every Sunday 
two Celebrations of the Holy Communion at which he always puts 
upon the plate his pocket knife by way of alms, saying that he has 
no change. After service he returns his knife to his pocket, but (it is 
stated) invariably forgets to redeem it. 

1874] SHIPWRECK 2?I 

Friday, 4 December 

As we went down to Lacock last evening we fell in with Mr. 
Roach the Vicar standing at his gate. He walked into the village 
with us saying he was cold and sorrowful, for his daughtet had just 
returned from Chippenham with the sad news that in the terrible 
gale of last Sunday morning the La Plata telegraph cable-laying ship 
foundered after springing a leak and went down off Ushant in the 
Bay of Biscay with sixty souls, amongst whom was the Captain of 
the ship, Captain Dudden, who married poor Georgia Spencer. 
The Spencers are in deep grief and they dare not tell the poor 
young widow of her loss as she is expecting her first child and very 
delicate. It is very remarkable that Captain Dudden sailed on this 
fatal voyage with a strong and sad reluctance, weighed down by a 
dark and sorrowful presentiment that he would never return. He 
made his poor young wife promise that she would not look at a 
newspaper till after her confinement and he told Lloyd's agent if and 
when the ship went down to telegraph, not to his wife, but to his 
father-in-law at Chippenham. Yet then there was no presage of a 

Thursday, 10 December 

In consequence of an invitation from Adelaide Cholmeley I went 
to Bristol this morning and spent a happy merry day with her and 
Elk and Jessie Russell who is staying witn them at I Carlton Place. 
Adelaide was very kind and encouraged me very much about 
matters in Lincolnshire. She said, 'Katie likes you very much*. 
Katie, dear Katie, wanted very much to write to me and could not 
understand why she should not. 'Why/ she said, remonstrating 
with her Mother, 'Jessie writes to him.* Dear Katie, she is as brave 
and true as steel. Well, patience, patience, hope and wait. The 
course of true love never did run smooth. But I do long and yearn 
to see her again. Adelaide has brought back from Lincolnshire 
a charming vignette of Katie. It is a grand, noble face, very hand- 
some and something much better than handsome. Adelaide lent 
me her old photograph of Katie in her riding dress to go on a long 
visit to Langley. 

Jessie Russell is a capital girl, nice, bright, lively and amusing and 
perfectly unaffected. After our early dinner she, Ella and I went for 
a walk over the Suspension Bridge along the edge of Nightingale 


Valley and through the Leigh Woods beautiful even in winter. 
Adelaide was obliged to stay at home with a cold. It was a bright 
frosty day and we had a merry happy walk, Jessie in fits of laughter 
at the story of my visit .to the young ladies* school in Great George St. 
when the Lady Principal was horrified to discover that I was not 
as she had thought 'quite an old gentleman'. Reached home at 
7 o'clock in time for the night school, bringing our children a cocoa 
nut to their great delight. 
Saturday, 12 December 

There is a beauty in the trees peculiar to winter, when their fair 
ielicate slender tracery unveiled by leaves and showing clearly 
against the sky rises bending with a lofty arch or sweeps gracefully 
drooping. The crossing and interlacing of the limbs, the smaller 
boughs and tender twigs make an exquisitely fine network which 
has something of the severe beauty of sculpture, while the tree in 
summer in its full pride and splendour and colour of foliage repre- 
sents the loveliness of painting. The deciduous trees which seem 
to me most graceful and elegant in winter are the birches, limes, 

Monday, 14 December 

This evening at 5 o'clock I took 21 of our schoolchildren into 
Chippenham to the Temperance Hall to see a Panorama of the 
African travels of Dr. Livingstone. One of the most favourite 
pictures with the children was the Funeral of Dr. Livingstone in 
Westminster Abbey. The Abbey was first shown empty. Then by 
a slight dioramic effect or dissolving view the open space in the Nave 
gradually melted into the forms of the funeral party, Dean Stanley 
reading the service and the mourners grouped round the flower 
wreath-covered coffin. 
Thursday, 17 December 

This morning after long suspense and waiting we were thankful 
to receive the happy news that dear Thersie was safely confined of a 
fine boy at Monnington Rectory at 10 p.m. Tuesday, i5th Decem- 
ber. Thank God for this and all His mercies. 
Tuesday, 22 December 

Mrs. John Knight tells me that the Malmesbury people are com- 
monly called 'Jackdaws*, to their intense disgust. It is a common 
saying among folks going to Malmesbury, 'Let us go and sec the 


Malmesbury Jackdaws 1 . I remember hearing many years ago, I 
think among the people of Kington St. Michael, that jackdaws are 
often called in these parts 'The Parsons from Mairneshury Abbey'. 
Perhaps the grey polls of the birds znay have suggested the shaven 
polls of the moriks, or the thievish habits of the jack-daws may have 
called to remembrance some tradition of the rapacity of the Abbot 
of Malmesbury. 

Thursday, Christmas Eve 

Writing Christmas letters all the morning. In the afternoon I 
went to the Church with Dora and Teddy to put up the Christmas 
decorations. Dora has been very busy for some cays past making 
the straw letters for the Christmas text. Fair Rosamund and good 
Elizabeth Knight came to the Church to help us and worked heartily 
and well. They had made some pretty ivy knots and bunches for the 
pulpit panels and the ivy blossoms cleverly whitened with Hour 
looked just like white flowers. 

The churchwarden Jacob Knight was sitting by his sister in front 
of the roaring fire. We were talking of the death of Major Torrens 
on the ice at Corsham pond yesterday. Speaking of people slipping 
and falling on ice the good churchwarden sagely remarked, 'Some 
do fall on their faces and some do fall on their rumps. And they as 
do hold their selves uncommon stiff do most in generally fall on 
their rumps/ 

I took old John Bryant a Christmas packet of tea and sugar and 
raisins from my Mother. The old man had covered himself almost 
entirely over in his bed to keep himself warm, like a marmot in its 
nest. He said, 'If I live till New Year's Day I shall have seen ninety- 
six New Years.' He said also, *I do often see things flying about me, 
thousands and thousands of them about half the size of a large pea, 
and they are red, white, blue and yellow and all colours. I asked Mr. 
Morgan what they were and he said they were the spirits of just 
men made perfect. 1 

Saturday, S. Stephens Day 

This morning, soon after breakfast, Lucy Halliday came up to 
ask me to go and see Hannah Williams as she was worse. I went 
immediately and found her in a sad state of suffering. The proud 
haughty beautiful face was kid low at last and flushed with pain, the 
thick black hair contrasting vividly with the white pillow- as the 


poor child tossed her shapely head, rolling wearily from side to side 
seeking, seeking rest, and finding none. Then for a minute she lay 
silent with closed eyes and flushed cheek buried in the pillows, and 
then once more began the bitter pain and the weary moaning. *Oh, 
mother, oh, mother/ Her father knelt at the foot of the bed holding 
her feet tenderly, for the agony was in her legs and feet. Last 
Wednesday night while earning a bucket of water from the well 
she slipped upon the icy path and fell heavily upon her back. We 
fear her spine was injured for though she suffers acute pain in her 
legs she cannot move them. The poor wild beautiful girl is stopped 
in her wildness at last, and perhaps by the finger of God. 

I saw Hannah Williams again this afternoon and sat awhile by her 
bedside repeating the Evening Hymn 'Sun of my soul'. 

This evening Teddy left us to return to London. A sharp frost, 
the stars brilliant and the roads glassed with ice. I went with him to 
the white gate where we parted and I turned off across the dark icy 
fields towards the village to try to read Hannah Williams to sleep. 
She had sunk to sleep two minutes before I got there, said her 
mother, coming noiselessly and gratefully to the head of the stairs. 
The light shone through the night from the sick girl's chamber 
window, the night was still, an owl hooted out of the South and the 
mighty hunter Orion with his glittering sword silently overstrode 
the earth. 

Sunday, Childermas Eve 

Before I went to Church this morning I went to see Hannah 
Williams. Before I reached the cottage I heard the poor girl's dis- 
tressing moans. They were moving her in her bed and it was heart- 
rending to hear her. After tea I went to see Hannah and try to read 
the poor child to sleep. I stayed there an hour or more turning her 
in bed every quarter of an hour. She says I turn her and lift her 
better than any one else. 

Monday, Childermas Day 

To-day we heard by a short telegram of the awful calamity of the 
burning of the emigrant ship Caspatna near the Cape of Good Hope 
bound for New Zealand. Four hundred and forty persons burnt in 
her. One boat reached St. Helena with three survivors who had 
lived on the flesh of their companions. 

I went to see Hannah Williams. The inflammatory rheumatism 

1374] FOR COLD FEET 275 

has,gone partly out of her legs but her poor hands are now in fiery 
agonizing pain, She can bear them in almost boiling water. I talked 
to her very seriously about her past wild conduct since her Confirm- 
ation, and prayed with her. Then I read her the May Queen, New 
Year's Eve, the Conclusion, the Miller's Daughter, and St. Agnes 
Eve, hoping to read her to sleep, but invain. 

I met the doctor (Mr. Spencer) here this morning. He told me 
he had feared at first inflammation of the spinal cord which might 
have carried Hannah off in 48 hours, 

Thursday, New Years Eve 

Edwin Law told me of an infallible receipt for warming cold and 
wet feet on a journey. Pour half a glass of brandy into each boot. 
Also he often carries a large pair of stockings with him to wear over 
boots and trousers. He has been a long time in Nova Scotia. 

My Mother and I sat up by the dining room fire to watch the Old 
Year out and the New Year in. Soon after eleven o'clock the Chip- 
penham bells began pealing and continued to ring at intervals till 
after midnight. The wind had veered into the South and brought 
the sound of the bells to us very distinct and sweet across the river, 
so that we could plainly hear when they began and paused and all 
the change-ringing and the firing of the bells. At a quarter to twelve 
I began to think earnestly of dear Katie and to pray for her. I knew 
she would be watching, praying and thinking of me. 1 had laid 
before me on my desk the photograph of her in her riding habit 
and the New Year's card I had just received from her, She seemed to 
be vdry near me. I felt her love all round me and I was very happy. 
My last thoughts and prayers in the Old Year 1874 were & r ^ er - 


Friday, New Year's Day 

I went across to Hannah Williams. I had not seen her for two 
days and there was a brilliant look of glad welcome on the proud 
beautiful face, as the wistful dark eyes seemed to say, 'Where have 
you been? I thought you had forgotten me.' 

Sunday, 3 January 

One New Year's Day Mr. Rich, the Vicar of Chippenham, was 
administering the Holy Communion when a poor man taking the 
Chalice into his hand wished the Vicar *A Happy New Year*. 

Tuesday, 12 January 

John Hatherell told me this evening that he recollects when a boy 
being one of the bearers at the burial of a gipsy girl 12 years of age. 
He had forgotten her name but we looked in the parish registers and 
found the entry of the funeral. The girl's name was 'Limpedy 
Buckland'. She was buried in Langley Burrell Churchyard in the 
year 1809 on the 29th of April. She died in the tents of her people in 
Sutton Lane opposite the gate of Sand Furlong. The road was then 
a green lane. When John and the other lads who were to be bearers 
reached the tents of the tribe they found a clean white cloth laid upon 
the green grass with bread, cheese and beer, and an old woman, the 
mother or grandmother of the dead girl, put her hand into her 
pocket and gave each of the bearer lads a shilHng. Then the lads 
carried the girl to her grave and a white sheet was thrown over the 
coffin. Limpedy Buckland the gipsy girl was buried in the south- 
eastern corner of the churchyard tinder the great yew. 

Hannah Hatherell said she well remembered old Constant Smith 
the gipsy. Probably this was 'Constance Smith a gipsy', the mother 
of 'Muperelk' whose burial appears in the registers of Langley 
Burrell. Hannah also remembers well old Ted Buckland the gipsy 
who murdered Judy Pearce at the lone house between Sutton and 
Seagry, since called Murder Cottage on that account. This Ted 
Buckland used to go about wrapped in a white blanket girt about 
his waist with a girdle and pinned together over his chest with a 
skewer. My Mother saw him brought to my grandfather's house at 
Langley Fitzurse after the murder in this same costume. 

William Ferris told me to-day his reminiscences of the first train 


that ever came down the Great Western Railway. *I was foddering', 
he said, 'near the line. It was a hot day in May some 34 or 35 years 
ago, and I heard a roaring in the air. I looked up and thought there 
was a storm coming down from Christian Malford roaring in the 
tops of the trees, only the day was so fine and hot. Well, the roaring 
came nigher and nigher, then the train shot along and the dust did 
flee up.' 

Thursday, 14 January 

I went to sec . She was sitting alone upstairs in her bedroom. 
She had finished her last book this morning and I brought her some 
more. I thought there was a softened and more affectionate look in 
her face and eyes, as she spoke to me. I was begging her earnestly 
to try to be more steady in her conduct when she got well and saying 
how deeply grieved I should be were she to become wild and wilful 
again. Taking her hand and looking earnestly and lovingly upon 
her I said, 'You do like me a little bit, don't you?' A loving light 
came into the girl's beautiful face and eyes. 'Yes/ she said impul- 
sively, *a great deal/ 

'Dear child, and I do love you so much. I have loved you through 
it all. It has not been always with you quite as it should have been, 
has it, dear?' She dropped her eyes sadly and penitently. 'No/ she 
whispered in a low voice. 'But you will try to be good and steady 
now, dear, won't you? I do so want you to be a good girl/ 1 will 
try/ she said humbly but firmly. 

Friday, 15 January 

Speaking to the children at the school about the Collect for the 
2nd Sunday after the Epiphany and God's peace I asked them what 
beautiful image and picture of peace we have in die xxiii Psalm. 
'The Good Shepherd/ said I, leading His sheep to ?' 'To the 
slaughter/ said Frederick Herriman promptly. One day I asked the 
children to what animal our Saviour is compared in the Bible. 
Frank Matthews confidently held out his hand. 'To an ass/ he said. 

Saturday, 16 January 

In the Common Field in front of the cottages I found two little 
figures in the dusk. One tiny urchin was carefully binding a hand- 
kerchief round the face of an urchin even more tiny than himself. 
It was Fred and Jerry Savine. 'What are you doing to him?' I asked 
Fred. 'Please, Sir/ said the child solemnly. 'Please, Sir, we'm gwine 


to play at blindman's buff.' The two children were quite alone. The 
strip of dusky meadow was like a marsh and every footstep trod the 
water out of the soaked land, but the two little images went solemnly 
on with their game as if they were in a magnificent playground with 
a hundred children to play with. Oh, the wealth of a child's imagin- 
ation and capacity for enjoyment of trifles. 

Wednesday, 20 January 

I went to luncheon to-day at Langley House to meet Mence who 
came there last Monday. I have not been inside the doors of 
Langley House since last July, and then I went there unasked to get 
the Squire's subscription for the cricket club. 

Thursday, 21 January 

I went round the premises late at night to see if the outhouses were 
locked up. All was still and the white pig lying in the moonlight 
at the door of his house, fast asleep, with the moon shining on his 
white face and round cheek. 

Saturday, 23 January 

When I went to bed last night I fancied that something ran in at 
my bedroom door after me from the gallery. It seemed to be a 
skeleton. It ran with a dancing step and I thought it aimed a blow 
at me from behind. This was shortly before midnight. 

Septuagesima Sunday, 24 January 

Last night I dreamt I saw a great whale caught in Weymouth Bay. 
I watched the huge dark bulk heave and tumble in the sea. Then the 
boats put out with harpoons and lances. The battle raged and 
drifted out of sight of the dream, but the bay was crimson with 

Saturday, 30 January 

I dined at Langley House. It is a long time since I dined there, 
more than a year I think. Syddie was looking lovely. Thersie dined 
with us and Syddie came in to dessert. The Squire appeared in the 
drawing room before dinner in a long grey dressing gown, took 
Mrs. Money Kyrle down and dined at a little table by himself, 
joining however in the talk. Colonel Money Kyrle took the foot 
of the table. After the ladies had left us we sat before the fire over a 
bottle of '51 port discussing the Prayer Book Dissenters till nearly 


10.30. I took Thersie down to dinner. We had a woodcock winch 
had been shot in the Marsh by the Squire. 

Tuesday, Candlemas Day 

I went to see Benjamin Hawkins. 'The times were much harder 
for poor folk when I was a lad, let people say what they will, 1 said 
Benjamin. Sometimes when an outstanding field rick was threshed 
or brought into the barn the shepherd or carter had the privilege of 
planting a few potatoes there and he was so overjoyed with his good 
fortune that he thought he had got a small farm. There was no 
such thing known then as planting potatoes in the field, and this 
made every foot of the garden ground so precious that people could 
not spare room for flowerbeds. Some of the old women would have 
a flower border and raise a few pinks and roses and a little thyme and 
lad's love, make up the flowers into knots and nosegays, and sell 
them at a halfpenny apiece. The lads would buy them and stick 
them in their hats on Sundays. Nosegays were very much sought 
after. Benjamin thought the new law compelling boys to go to 
school till they are 12 years old a bad law, unjust and hard upon the 

Friday, 5 February 

My Mother tells us that when she was a little child of three or four 
years old she was sent every morning with a nurse from her fathers 
house at Langley Fitzurse to the village school kept by Dame Fair- 
lamb at the Pound, Langley Burrell, in the cottages where old blind 
Thomas JefFeries lived and died. My Mother was not allowed to 
play with the village children but when school was over she was 
taken home by the nurse. Dame Fairlamb was one of the real old 
fashioned dames, severe and respectable with rod and spectacles. 
Afterwards my Mother went to the Moravian school at East 
Tytherton daily on a donkey which she urged forward by rattling a 
bunch of keys in his ear. 

Shrove Tuesday, 9 February 

Dined at the Paddocks. People were talking about Mr. Torrens' 
will (late of Corsham) which left 70,000 between his butler and 
housekeeper. Some remarks were passed too upon a set of verses 
that appeared in the Devizes Gazette upon the Chippenham Ball, 
author unknown and the tone of the verses low. 


Friday, 12 February 

I went to see old Sally Killing. She is very comfortable and 
contented now sitting in her cosy chimney corner, with Aileen for 
her lady's maid. Aileen told me of the sad uneven marriage at St. 
Paul's Church, Chippenham, last week, the daughter of the clergy- 
man of [ ] married to her father's groom with whom, unknown 
to her parents, she had been keeping company fox Jive years. But 
how without her parents' knowledge? The groom's sister made 
the young lady's dresses and the groom used to drive the young 
lady to see her dressmaker. A sad story. 

Sunday, St. Valentine's Day 

Shortly after noon to-day, at the time the folk were coming out 
of morning Church, the village Patriarch old John Bryant quietly 
ended his long earthly pilgrimage and passed away from amongst us, 
we hope and trust to a better country. The old man died very calmly 
and peacefully like a little child falling asleep. He was baptized 
July soth, 1780, but he was probably born in 1779. 

Monday, St. Valentine's Morrow 

The Miss Mascalls were justly indignant and amazed that Mrs. 
Prodgers and her children should have been introduced into the new 
painted east window in Kington St. Michael's Church, 'Suffer little 
children to come unto me*. Mrs. Prodgers and her children actually 
sat for their likenesses and she is introduced as one of the mothers, 
in the most prominent position. The whole thing is the laughing 
stock of the village and countryside. 

Tuesday, 16 February 

Miss Bryant told me that her grandmother, Miss Buy of Langley 
Brewery, asked her grandfather George Bryant to marry her, and 
bitterly repented it afterwards. George Bryant was a very fine 
handsome man and Miss Buy said to him, 'Why do you go courting 
a woollen apron when you might have a muslin apron?* 

Thursday, 4 March 

Old William Halliday told me he had heard from the old people 
of Allington and especially from the Taverners, when he was young, 
strange tales of ancient rimes and how the world was once full of 
'witches, weasels (wizards) and wolves 1 . Old William also told the 
story of how old Squire Sadler Gale of Bulwich House at Allington 


made himself wings and fiew offthe garden wall. 'Watch I vice !' ne 
cried to the people. Then he dashed down into the horsepond. 

Saturday, 6 March 

A sudden and blessed change in the weather, a S.W. wind, pour- 
ing warm rain, and the birds in the garden and orchard singing like 
mad creatures, the whole air in a charm and tumult of joy and delight. 

Thursday, 11 March 

It was a fine clear starry night and the young moon was shining 
brightly. Near the school I overtook a lad of eighteen walking 
slowly and wearily, who asked me how far it was to Sutton. He 
said he had walked down tc-day from Broad Hinton, 7 miles the 
other side of Swindon. He was seeking work and could find none. 
He was very tired, he said, and he seemed downcast and out of 
spirits. He had just asked the Sutton baker to give him a lift in his 
trap, promising to give him a pint of beer, but the baker surlily bade 
him keep his beer to himself and refused to pull up and take the kd 
in, giving him leave however to hang on behind the trap from 
Broad Somerford to Seagry. He had tried to get a bed at Somerford 
but the inn was full of navvies who are making the new railroad to 
Malmesbury from Dauntesey . 

There was no room for him in the inn. I thought it might en- 
courage and cheer the lad up if I kept company along the road to 
Sutton so we walked together and I showed him the short cut across 
the fields. As we went we fell into talk and the kd began to be 
confidential and to tell me something of his story. It was a simple 
touching tale. *I was born*, said the kd, *at a little vilkge near here 
called Corston, but I have been knocking about the country looking 
for work. I have some aunts in Corston/ 'But have you no father 
or mother?' I asked. The simple chance question touched a heart 
still tender and bruised with a great sorrow and opened the flood- 
gates of his soul. The kd suddenly burst into years. *My Mother 
was buried to-day,' he sobbed. 1 walked up to Broad Hinton 
yesterday, to try to get work, for my stepfather would not keep me 
any longer and I could get no work in Corston. I would have stayed 
to follow my mother to the grave but I had no bkck clothes except 
a jacket and couldn't get any. She was the best friend I had in the 
world and the only one. I was with her when she died. She said I 


had better die too along with her for I should only be knocked about 
in a hard world and tliere would be no one to care for me. And I've 
found her words true and thought upon them often enough already,* 
added the poor boy bitterly with another burst of heart-broken 

'My name is Henry Estcourt Ferris/ the kd went on, in answer 
to some questions of mine. 'My father's name is Estcourt. He is a 
labouring man working in Wales as a boiler maker. He ran away 
from my Mother and forsook her six months before I was born. 
My Mother's maiden name', said the poor boy with some hesitation, 
'was Ellen Ferris.' Alas, the old, old story. Trust misplaced, pro- 
mises broken, temptation, sin and sorrow, and the sins of the parents 
visited upon the children. When we got to Sutton we went to three 
places, two inns and a private lodging house, to try to get the lad a 
bed. A villager in the street told us of the lodging house, but every- 
where the lad was refused a bed and from each house in succession 
he turned wearily and hopelessly away with a faint protest and 
remonstrance and a lingering request that the good people would 
please to try if they could not put him up, but in vain, and we 
plodded on again towards Chippenham where he knew he could 
get a bed at the Little George. The poor fellow was very humble 
and grateful. *I shouldn't have been near so far along the road as 
this, if it hadn't been for you, Sir,' he said gratefully. 'You've kind 
of livened and 'ticed me along.' I cheered him up as well as I could 
and gave him a bit of good advice. He hoped to get a place at 
Chippenham Great Market to-morrow. The lights of Langley 
Fitzurse shone brightly through the dark night. * 'Tis a long road/ 
said the kd wearily. At the Hillocks stile we parted at length with 
a clasp of the hand and a kindly 'Goodbye' and I saw the last, for 
ever probably in this world, of the motherless boy. 

Friday, 19 March 

I was very much annoyed this evening by a note from Marion 
Vaughan saying that my last letter to Netta had been forwarded by 
Matilda to her at the C.D.S. at Bristol, that Miss Winter had opened 
the letter, read it, refused to give it to Netta, and then laid it before 
the Committee, and that the Honorary Secretary had written to 
Mr. Vaughan saying that if Netta continued to receive letters from 
me he must withdraw her from the school. 


Easter Tuesday, 30 March 

As I walked up and down our drive within the white gate in the 
fresh mild evening shortly hefore 8 o'clock I saw through the trees 
a light from the Manor House nearly half a mile away. The light 
was obscured continually, apparently by the figures passing before 
it, and it seemed to come from the dining-room where the Squire 
was at dinner and probably the constant darkening of the light was 
produced by the maids waiting at table and passing every moment 
almost between the window and the lights on the table. 

Wednesday, April Eve 

This evening Teddy left us and went back to London. I walked 
down with him to the station. He went up by a broad gauge train 
and in the smoking carriage, the atmosphere of which I could not 
have endured for a minute and could hardly bear to stand near the 
door even. 

Monday, 5 April 

Left Langley for Monnington-on-Wye with Dora. William met 
us at Moorhampton with the dog cart and chestnut horse Paddy, 
and drove us to Monnington. I like the look of the pkce very much. 
The house is large and comfortable and the situation pretty, roomy 
and pleasant. One great feature of the pkce is the famous 'Monning- 
ton Walk', a noble avenue of magnificent Scotch firs bordering a 
broad green ride, stretching from Brobury Scar (a red sandstone 
precipice beetling over the winds of Wye) to Monnington Court 
House, where the aunt of Owen Glendower lived. 

Tuesday, 6 April 

When I awoke a woodpigeon was crooning from the trees near 
the house and the early morning sunshine glinted upon the red boles 
of the gigantic Scotch firs in Monnington Walk. I rose early and 
went out. The morning was fresh and bright with a slight sunshiny 
shower flying. Hard by the Church porch and on the western side 
of it I saw what I knew must be the grave of Owen Glendower. It . 
is a flat stone of whitish grey shaped like a rude obelisk figure, sunk 
deep into the ground in the middle of an oblong patch of earth 
from which the turf has been pared away, and, alas, smashed into 
several fragments. And here in the little Herefordshire churchyard 
within hearing of the rushing of the Wye and close under the 
shadow of the old grey church the strong wild heart, still now, has 


rested by the ancient home and roof tree of his kindred since he fell 
asleep there more than four hundred years ago. It is a quiet peaceful 

In the afternoon Thersie, Dora, Florence and I called at Monning- 
ton Court and were kindly received by the worthy Churchwarden 
fanner and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. James, who showed us the fine 
old oak carving and the banqueting room. In the garden of the 
Court House was dug up a few days ago a huge silver coin which Mr. 
James showed us and which looked to me like a crown of Charles I. 
On one side of the coin was a king crowned, armed and mounted. 
Mr. James went with us to the Church which is light and pleasant 
and cheerful within and seemed well cared for. He told us that in 
the great flood of February 6, 1852, he and the present Sir Gilbert 
Lewis of Harpton (then Rector of Monnington) had punted in a 
flat-bottomed boat across the Court garden, in at the Church door, 
up the Nave and into the Chancel. 

Thursday, 8 April 

A sad accident lately befell the poor strange Solitary, the Vicar or 
Llanbedr Painscastle. He was sitting by the fire in his little lone hut 
at Cwm Cello that lies in the bosom of Llanbedr Hill when he either 
dropped heavily asleep or had a fit and fell full upon the fire. Before 
he could recover himself his stomach, bowels and thighs were dread- 
fully burnt, and he has had to stay away from Church for three 
Sundays. Yet he will let neither doctor nor nurse come near Him. 
The poor solitary. He used to visit Sarah Bryan kindly and assidu- 
ously when she lay a-dying and was a great and lasting comfort to 
her. She died very happy. 

Tuesday, 13 April 

I had not been in Builth since that memorable day to me, May 
2pth, 1865, the day never to be forgotten when I walked alone over 
the hills from Clyro to Builth and first saw the Rocks of Aberedw, 
the day I first saw Painscastle and the ruined Church of Llanbedr, 
and the morning sun shining like silver upon Llanbychllyn Pool, 
and descended from the great moor upon the vale of Edw and saw, 
in the orchard of the newly yellow-thatched cottage near the Court 
Mills, the two beautiful chestnut-haired girls at play with the 
children under the apple boughs. Then every step was through an 
enchanted land. I was discovering a new country and all the world 


was before me. How different it is now, just ten years afterwards. 
But then there was a glamour and enchantment about the first view 
of the shining skte roofs of Builth and the bridge and the winding 
reaches of the broad and shining river which even now cling about 
the place and have never quite been dispelled. A strange fascination, 
a beautiful enchantment hangs over Builth and the town is magically 
transfigured still. 

Oh, Aberedw, Aberedw. Would God I might dwell and die by 
thee. Memory enters in and brings back the old time in a clear vision 
and waking dream, and again I descend from the high moor's half 
encircling sweep and listen to the distant murmur of the river as it 
foams down the ravine from its home in the Green Cwm and its 
cradle in the hills. Once more I stand by the riverside and look up at 
the clirT castle towers and mark the wild roses swinging from the 
crag and watch the green woods waving and shimmering with a 
twinkling dazzle as they rustle in the breeze and shining of the sum- 
mer afternoon, while here and there a grey crag peeps from among 
the tufted trees. And once again I hear the merry voices and laughter 
of the children as they clamber down the cHflfpath among the bushes 
or along the rock ledges of the riverside or climb the Castle Mount, 
or saunter along the narrow green meadow tree-fringed and rock- 
bordered and pass in and out of Llewellyn's cave, or gather wood 
and light the fire amongst the rocks upon the moor, or loiter down 
the valley to Cavan Twm Bach and cross the shining ferry at sunset, 
when the evening shadows lie long and still across the broad reaches 
of the river. Oh, Aberedw, Aberedw. 

Holy Thursday, 6 May 

John Couzens says he is very fond of dry bread, as dry and hard 
as he can get it. 'When I was out mowing,* he said, 1 used to throw 
my wallet and my victuals on the swath and let the sun bless it from 
bait to bait. J wanted it all crust.* 

Expectation Sunday, 9 May 

I went out late last night to lock the white gate. The wind had 
dropped and all was still, save for the occasional slow dripping of the 
trees after the last heavy shower. Against the clean bright sky every 
leaf and twig stood out with marvellous distinctness, and as I 
approached the gate the moonlight streamed in up the avenue, dark 
with foliage, from the wide empty open Common, like moonlight 


streaming into a dark house through an open door. The ground 
was still wet and shining with the rain, and the gigantic shadow of 
the gate projected by the moonlight was cast far up the avenue in 
huge bars upon the shining ground. 

Monday, 24 May 

This afternoon I walked over to LanhilL As I came down from 
the hill into the valley across the golden meadows and along the 
flower-scented hedges a great wave of emotion and happiness stirred 
and rose up within me. I know not why I was so happy, nor what I 
was expecting, but I was in a delirium of joy, it was one of the 
supreme few moments of existence, a deep delicious draught from 
the strong sweet cup of life. It came unsought, unbidden, at the 
meadow stile, it was one of the flowers of happiness scattered for us 
and found unexpectedly by the wayside of Hfe. It came silently, 
suddenly, and it went as it came, but it left a long lingering glow 
and glory behind as it faded slowly like a gorgeous sunset, and I 
shall ever remember the place and the time in which such great 
happiness fell upon me. 

Thursday, 27 May 

My bedroom is illuminated all day with a beautiful rosy light 
from the glorious blossom of the pink may on the lawn. 

Wednesday \ June Morrow 

Austin told me that when his present farm boy, Robert JefTeries, 
worked at the Barrow the young Bryants held him down in the 
furrow and ploughed him into the ground. It reminded me of 
Uncle Francis trying to bury Uncle Richard when they were boys 
at Caroline Buildings in Bath. He had got him into the hole up to 
his waist when someone came by and interrupted him. In a fury he 
flung the spade at Richard to cut him in two and finish him at once, 
but the spade fell on his own foot and Francis swore- like a trooper. 

Friday, 4 June 

Mrs. Vincent told me that her husband had not suffered so much 
lately from the pressure of water upon his heart which had been 
sensibly relieved by the water running out at his heels. 

Monday, 7 June 

I walked to Langley Grove through the mowing grass. Dear 
little Katie opened the door to me and ner father Fanner Lcssiter was 


better and sitting downstairs at tea. When I went away and shook 
hands with him at parting he gave me a kind look out of his blue 
eyes and said, 1 wish I were as strong as you, Sir. I know you must 
be a very strong man. When I was in bed the other day and you 
shook hands with me I felt as if an electrifying machine had gone 
ail through me and I feel the same now. I made the remark after 
you were gone that- you must be a very strong man. There is some- 
thing so stifFto lean against in your grasp/ 

'Oh,* I said, 'you will be as strong as I am again hi a few days. 

'No', said the stout fanner, with a sad shake of the head and a 
sorrowful look in his blue eyes. 'No, I shall never be as strong as 
you are any more/ 

Tuesday, ZJune 

How delightful it is in these sweet summer evenings to wander 
from cottage to cottage and from farm to farm exchanging bright 
words and looks with the beautiful girls at their garden gates and 
talking to the kindly people sitting at their cottage doors or meeting 
in the lane when their work is done. How sweet it is to pass from 
house to house welcome and beloved everywhere by young and old, 
to meet the happy loving smiles of the dear children at their evening: 
play in the lanes and fields and to meet with no harsher reproach, 
than this, *It is a longful while since you have been to see us. We 
do all love to see you coming and we do miss you sorely when you 
are away/ 

Wednesday, 9 June 

Foxham seems to be in a sad state ecclesiastically. Mrs. Peglin told 
us that the Curate, Mr. Rivett-Carnac, who walks about in a. 
cassock, was attacked one day by their gander which tore a grievous, 
rent in his 'petticoats*. He said he should tell his friends what a. 
'ferocious house guardian* Mrs. Peglin kept. 'Perhaps, Sir/ sug- 
gested the old lady slyly, 'the gander was excited by some peculiarity 
in the dress/ 

Saturday, 12 June 

I went to see my dear little lover Mary Tavener, the deaf and half 
dumb child. When I opened the door of the poor old crazy cottage 
in the yard the girl uttered a passionate inarticulate cry of joy and 
running to me she flung her arms round my neck and covered me 

283 KILVERT'S DIARY [j H | y 

with kisses. Well. I have lived and I have been loved, and no one 
can take this from me. 

Monday, 14 June 

Villaging. Visited Mrs. Lawrence who amused me by a descrip- 
tion of how she fell down the cellar stairs from top to bottom by 
reason of her 'grasping on vacancy' instead of grasping a pound of 
candles which were hanging against the wall. When she revived 
herself and came up, 'Charles/ she said to her husband, 'I am almost 
dead. I have fallen from the top of the celler stairs to the bottom.' 
'You couldn't have done it,' said Charles incredulously from under 
the bedclothes. *I have done it, Charles,' she shouted, infuriated at 
his unbelief. 


Battle of Waterloo. ' 'Tis sixty years since/ The veterans who 
meet at the yearly banquet must be growing very few and feeble. 
It must be a small sad gathering now, and soon there will be fewer 
and then there will be none. 

I passed by the ruined sheds which sadly, regretfully, mark the 
site of the ancient small homestead of Wading Street. The dwelling 
house has entirely disappeared and the scene of so many joys and 
sorrows, hopes and fears, is now waste, silent and desolate, and over- 
grown with nettles and weeds. What a pity that these ancient humble 
farms should be destroyed and thrown into the great farms, thereby 
taking away all the poor man's prizes and the chance of his rising 
in the world. 

Tuesday, 22 June 

I have been working all the afternoon in our meadows with the 
haymakers, Farmer Jacob Knight, John Couzens, Hannah, Mary and 
Joseph Hatherell and Emma Halliday. We have got a lot of 
beautiful green fragrant hay up in cock, 

Wednesday, Midsummer Eve 

Another beautiful haymaking day. We all worked hard and got 
the hay up in beautiful condition, I pitching the last four loads with 
Jacob Knight. We finished about nine o'clock of a lovely warm 
Midsummer's Eve. 

Thursday, Midsummer Day 
And a lovely day it has been, soft, warm and sunny. I took the 


young cuckoo out of his nest, put him in the great wicker cage, and 
hung the cage up in the hawthorn hedge close to the old nest that 
the hedge sparrows might feed their charge. 

Gathering strawberries. As the day wore the weather became 
more and more beautiful till at last the evening grew the loveliest 
I think I ever saw. The rich golden light flooded die lawn and clean 
freshly cleared meadows, slanting through the western trees which 
fringe the Common's edge. Even the roan cows, and the Alderney 
especially, glowed with a golden tinge in the glorious evening sun- 
light. From the wide common over the thick waving fragrant grass 
came the sweet country music of the white-sleeved mowers whet- 
ting their scythes and the voices of their children at play among the 
fresh-cut flowery swaths. The sun went down red under a delicate 
fringe of gold laced cloud, the beautiful Midsummer evening 
passed through twilight and gloaming into the exquisite warm soft 
Midsummer night, with its long light in the north slowly, softly 
lingering as Jupiter came out glorious in the south and flashed glitter- 
ing through the tresses of the silver birches softly waving, and the 
high poplars rustled whispering and the Church clock at Draycot 
struck ten and I longed to sleep out of doors and dream my 
'Midsummer night's dream*. 

Monday, $July 

Left Chippcnham for die Isle of Wight. Reached Shanklm be- 
tween 4 and 5 o'clock, the heat all the way very great in the sun in 
spite of a fine breeze. It was most refreshing and delightful embark- 
ing in the steam boat with the salt air blowing cool, the sea dimpling, 
sparkling and shimmering, the Island smiling in the glorious after- 
noon sunlight and the tall white-sailed yachts standing stately up 
and down die Solent and flying over the bright blue water. 

Wednesday, 7 July 

At 5 o'clock we all went down to the beach leaving Mrs. Cowper 
Coles in her Bath Chair on the top of the Cliff. Mrs. Powles, Miss 
Deason, Gussie aad Alice sat down by the bathing machine to sketch 
Sampson's Cottage at the mouth of the Chine. Minna, Sherard, 
Commerell, Cowper Todd and I set to work to dig sand casdes and 
trenches. The tide was going out, a number of children were padd- 
ling in the shallow water left by the white retreating surges, and 
it was a fair sight to watch the merry girls with their pretty white 


feet and bare limbs wading through the little rippling waves or 
walking on the wet and shining sand. Oh, as I watched them there 
came over me such a longing, such a hungry yearning to have one 
of those children for my own. Oh that I too 'had a child to love and 
to love me, a daughter with such fair limbs and blue eyes archly 
dancing, and bright clustering curls blown wild and golden in the 
sunshine and sea air. It came over me like a storm and I turned away 
hungry at heart and half envying the parents as they sat upon the 
sand watching their children at play. 

Tuesday, 13 July 

This morning after breakfast I started to walk to Bembridge 
through Sandown and Yaverland. The morning was blue and lovely 
with a warm sun and fresh breeze blowing from the sea and the 
Culver Downs. As I walked from Shanklin to Sandown along the 
clifledge I stopped to watch some children bathing from the beach 
directly below. One beautiful girl stood entirely naked on the sand, 
and there as' she half sat, half reclined sideways, leaning upon her 
elbow, with her knees bent and her legs and feet partly drawn back 
and up, she was a model for a sculptor, there was the supple slender 
waist, the gentle dawn and tender swell of the bosom and the bud- 
ding breasts, the graceful rounding of the delicately beautiful limbs 
and above all the soft and exquisite curves of the rosy dimpled 
bottom and broad white thigh. Her dark hair fell in thick masses on 
her white shoulders as she threw her head back and looked out to 
sea. She Deemed a Venus Anadyomene fresh risen from the waves. 

I missed the road by the windmill on the height and went too far 
round to the right, but at last returning by the Cross Roads I came to 
Bembridge. Bosomed amongst green, pretty cottages peeped 
through die thick foliage and here and there a garden shone brilliant 
with Sowers. A long beautiful road, dark, green and cool and 
completely overarched, with trees, led towards die sea and in a high 
meadow the haymakers hi their white shirt sleeves, the dark horses 
and the high loaded waggon stood out clear against the brilliant blue 
waters of the Channel. Farther on a broad and beautiful avenue led 
down to the water's edge. The trees were chiefly sycamore and ash, 
and high and thickly overarching they cast a twinkling chequering 
shadow upon the ground, a perpetual restless flicker of dancing 
leaves that in the sun and sea wind moved ceaselessly quivering. 


Only two or three children were moving up and down in the 
chequering sunlight and shadow. At the end of the avenue the 
bright blue sea was framed in a perfect round low arch of dark foli- 
age, and passing under the arch I came out upon an open terrace from 
which a pretty winding path wandered amongst the woods which 
fringe the shore and sweep down to the water's edge. Spithead was 
full of great ships black and monstrous. The Channel Fleet had 
come in the day before and was lying off the opposite shore. The 
sun shone bright on the green slopes and woods and white houses of 
St. Helens across the smooth blue harbour of Brading, a woman sat 
solitary under the trees looking across the sea to the Hampshire 
coast, and the only sounds that broke the peaceful stillness were the 
rustling of the firs and poplars overhead and the clapping of the 
white sail of a pilot boat as it flapped idly from the yard in the soft 

[Kiivert returns to Langley Burrell.] 
Monday, 19 July 

I called on Mrs. Martin. She was busy picking pheasants' 
feathers to make a pillow. Talking of feather beds she said, 'Phea- 
sants' feathers will do very well for a bed, but not pigeons* feathers. 
People don't like to sleep on pigeons' feathers.' 'Why not?' I asked. 
'Well/ said Susan Martin mysteriously, 'folk do say that a person 
can't die on pigeons' feathers.' 

At 7 o'clock came on another terrible storm of rain much worse 
than the one in the afternoon. I was in my room reading when I 
heard Fanny screaming to me from top of the house. Rushing 
up the back stairs I found that the astern was overflowing and 
deluging the water closet, the tank room, and the bathroom and 
the kitchen. I was obliged to put on a mackintosh and stand in the 
water closet holding ur) the handle to relieve the cistern while the 
water ran down upon my head like a shower bath. 

Saturday, 24 July 

Going into tie Churchyard I found they were beginning the 
restoration of Chippenham Church and digging the foundations 
for the new North aisle. Draper Wharry's assistant at the Chemist's 
shop told me that things were not managed nicely when the tomb- 
stones and graves were necessarily interfered with. He said scalps 
with hair still on them were left lying about and that he himself had 


seen a hedgehog tearing at the arm of a body which still had flesh 
upon it. 

Sunday, 8 August 

As I went to Church in the sultry summer afternoon the hum and 
murmur of the multitudinous insects sounded like the music of 
innumerable bells. As I sat on the terrace reading Farm's Life of 
Christ, the evening was soft, dark and cloudy and filled with sweet 
scents of earth and flowers. At the gloaming a robin suddenly flew 
into the trees overhead and began singing his latest evensong in the 

Tuesday t 10 August 

At the Barrow Cottages I found Alice Couzens at home and 
Charlotte Knight told me the sad story of Mrs. Sarten's confine- 
ment, how the doctors could not get the dead baby from her for 
two days and were obliged to cut the poor girl almost to pieces. 
They said she would die in two hours but she still lives and it is 
hoped will live, as she has survived a fortnight. 

Thursday, 12 August 

I walked across to Kington St. Michael to be present at the school 
feast. As we were swinging the children under the elms that crown 
the Tor Hill a girl came up to me with a beseeching look in her eyes 
and an irresistible request for a swing. She was a perfect little beauty 
with a plump rosy face, dark hair, and lovely soft dark eyes melting 
with tenderness and a sweet little mouth as pretty as a rosebud. I 
lifted her into the swing and away she went. But about the sixth 
flight the girl suddenly slipped off the swing seat feet foremost and 
still keeping hold of the ropes she hung firom the swing helpless. 
Unfortunately her clothes had got hitched upon the seat of the swing 
and were all pulled up round her waist and it instantly became 
apparent that she wore no drawers. A titter and then a shout of 
kughter ran through the crowd as the girl's plump person was seen 
naked hanging from the swing. O ye gods, the fall of Hebe was 
nothing to it. We hustled her out of the swing and her clothes into 
their proper place as soon as possible and perhaps she did not know 
what a spectacle she had presented. I believe it was partly my fault. 
When I lifted the girl into the swing there were many aspirants for 
the seat and in the struggle and confusion I suppose I set her down 
with her clothes rumpled up and her bare flesh (poor child) upon the 


board and as her flesh was plump and smooth and in excellent 
whipping condition and the board slippery, they managed to part 
company with this result. Poor child, when she begged so earnestly 
for a swing she scarcely contemplated the exhibition of herself for 
the amusement of the spectators. I shall never see the elms on the 
Tor Hill now without thinking of the fall of Hebe. 

Thursday, 19 August 

In the newspapers this morning we saw the account of the Royal 
yacht the Alberta with the Queen on board going from Osborne to 
Portsmouth ninning down, cutting in two and sinking Mr. Hey- 
wood's yacht the Mistletoe in Stokes Bay with a loss of three lives, 
the master, the mate and Miss Annie Peel, the sister of Mrs. Hey- 
wood. This is the first accident that has ever happened to the 
Queen in travelling and she is terribly distressed. It is an awkward 
thing for the Sovereign to destroy her own subjects. Of course it 
was no fault of hers but the Royal yacht was travelling too fast 
through the crowded waters of the Solent. 

Wednesday, 25 August 

I went to Britford Vicarage to stay with the Morrises till Satur- 
day. Late in the evening we loitered down into the water meads. 
The sun was setting in stormy splendour behind Salisbury and the 
marvellous aerial spire rose against fhe yellow glare like lAuriel's 
spear, while the last gleams of the sunset flamed down the long lines 
of the water carriages making them shine and glow like canals of 
molten gold. 

Friday, 27 August 

To-day I paid my first visit to Stonehenge. We had breakfast 
before Church and immediately after service Morris and I started to 
walk to Stonehenge, eleven miles. Passing through the beautiful 
Cathedral Close and the city of Salisbury we took the Devizes road 
and after we had walked along that road for some six miles we saw 
in the dim distance the mysterious Stones standing upon the Plain. 
The sun was hot, but a sweet soft air moved over the Plain 'wafting' 
the scent of the purple heather tufts and the beds of thyme and mak- 
ing the delicate blue harebells tremble on their fragile stems. A 
beautiful little wheatear flitted before us from one stone heap to 
another along the side of the wheel track as we struck across the 


firm elastic turf. Around us die Plain heaved mournfully with great 
and solemn barrows, the 'grassy barrows of the happier dead*. 

Soon after we left the Druid's Head and struck across the turf east- 
ward we came in sight of the grey cluster of gigantic Stones. They 
stood in the midst of a green plain, and the first impression they left 
on my mind was that of a group of people standing about and 
talking together. It seemed to me as if they were ancient giants who 
suddenly became silent and stiffened into stone directly anyone 
approached, but who might at any moment become alive again, and 
at certain seasons, as at midnight and on Old Christmas and Mid- 
summers Eve, might form a true 'Chorea Gigantum' and circle on 
the Plain in a solemn and stately dance. It is a solemn awful place. 
As I entered the charmed circle of the sombre Stones I instinctively 
uncovered my head. It was like entering a great Cathedral Church. 

Crossing the river at Normanton Hatches we walked along the 
hillside through meadows and barley fields till we came to the 
hospitable Manor House of Great Durnford, the seat of Mr. John 
Pinckney, where we found Mr. and Mrs. Pinckney, Mr. Charles 
Everett and Major Fisher, the Champion archer of England, at 
luncheon. After luncheon the archers went out to shoot at a beauti- 
ful archery ground by the riverside. The ladies sat watching under 
the trees while the arrows flashed past with a whistling rush, and the 
glorious afternoon sunlight shone mellow upon the beeches, and the 
still soft air of the river valley was filled with the cooing of wood- 
pigeons and the strange mournful crying of the ^moorhens and 
daochicks, and three beautiful cows came down the glade from sun- 
light to shadow to their milking place, and the river flashed darkly 
past the boathouse and under the leaning trees, and a man rowed up 
the stream with his milkcans in a boat from the meadows where he 
had milked a distant herd of cows. 

Saturday, 28 August 

Left Britford, came home in pouring rain. 

William Boscawen told us of a curious custom which is still kept 
up in many parts of Wales. At the funerals offerings are made at the 
graveside to the clergyman by the mourners and the offerings are 
collected upon the grave shovel. This is a relic of the old Catholic 
custom of offering money to the priest to say masses for the soul of 
the departed. 

i8 7 5] NUTTING AT SEAGRY 295 

He said that an old woman who had lately moved from her parish 
Into an adjoining one died there. Soon afterwards meeting the 
hushand Boscawen inquired about her last days, and received the 
following account. 'Hun did send for the parson. 1 'Well?' 'And hun 
did come and say that hun must repent of her sins.* *Yes.' 'And 
hun did say as hun hadn't got any sins to repent of.' 'Well** 
'Then hun did say that as if hun hadn't got any sins hun shouldn't 
come to see hun any more/ 'Well? 1 'Hun didn't come.' 'And 
then?' 'Hun died/ 
Sunday, 29 August 

John Hatherell told me that one night he had a sweet waking 
dream. He thought one of his children was with him and sitting 
on his bed. It was Ellen. And he said to her that he wanted to kiss 
Some One. 'Kiss me, father', said Ellen. But he did not mean that. 
There seemed to be Some One else there whom he was feeling 
after. *It was my sweet Jesus that I wanted to kiss, 1 said the old man. 

Saturday, 4 September 

This beautiful autumn morning I went out to pray on the sunny 
common. The luxuriant meadow grass shone green and silver with 
the hoary webs and sheets of dew. The hills and woods and distances 
were richly bloomed with azure misty veils, the sweet sudden solit- 
ary song of the robin from the hornbeam broke the morning calm, 
and here and there a yellow leaf, the herald of Autumn, floated 
silently from the limes. 

Dora and I drove to Seagry Vicarage to luncheon and to go 
nutting with the Charles Awdrys' children in Seagry. We had a 
grand scramble and merry romp in the Seagry Woods racing up and 
down the green rides, clambering over the high gates gathering nuts, 
throwing burrs at each other and sticking them in the girls' hair 
amidst shouts and screams of laughter. 

Monday, 6 September 

All night the heavy drenching fog brooded over the land, clinging 
to the meadows long after the sun was risen, and it was not until 
after he had gained some height in the sky that he was. able to break 
through and dispel the mists. Then the morning suddenly became 
glorious and we saw what had happened in the night. All night long 
millions of gossamer spiders had been spinning and the whole 
country was covered as if with one vast fairy web. They spread 


29 6 KILVERT'S DIARY [1885] 

over lawn and meadow grass and gate and hawthorn hedge, and as 
the morning sun glinted upon their delicate threads drenched and 
beaded with the film of the mist the gossamer webs gleamed and 
twinkled into crimson and gold and green, like the most exquisite 
shot-silk dress in the finest texture of gauzy silver wire. I never saw 
anything like it or anything so exquisite as 'the Virgin's webs' 
glowed with changing opal lights and glanced with all the colours 
of the rainbow. 

At 4 o'clock Miss Meredith Brown and her beautiful sister Etty 
came over to afternoon tea with us and a game of croquet. Etty 
Meredith Brown is one of the most striking-looking and handsomest 
girls whom I have seen for a long time. She was admirably dressed 
in light grey with a close fitting crimson body which set off her 
exquisite figure and suited to perfection her black hair and eyes and 
her dark Spanish brunette complexion with its rich glow of health 
which gave her cheeks the dusky bloom and flush of a ripe pome- 
granate. But the greatest triumph was her hat, broad and pic- 
turesque, carelessly twined with flowers and set jauntily on one side 
of her pretty dark head, while round her shapely slender throat she 
wore a rich gold chain necklace with broad gold links. And from 
beneath the shadow of the picturesque hat the beautiful dark face 
and the dark wild fine eyes looked with a true gipsy beauty. 

The sun shone golden on the lawn between the lengthening 
shadows and the evening sunlight dappled the bright green on the 
front of the Rectory with rich spots of light and shade. It lighted 
the broad gold links of the necklace and the graceful crimson figure 
of the dark handsome girl, and into the midst of the game came the 
tabby cat carrying in her mouth her tabby kitten which she dropped 
on the lawn and looked round proudly for applause. 

Tuesday, j September 

This morning I went to Bath. Having an hour to spare I went into 
the Catholic Cathedral. I knelt and prayed for charity, unity, and 
brotherly love, and the union of Christendom. Surely a Protestant 
may pray in a Catholic Church and be none the worse. 


Friday, 3 March 

I went by the mahogany tree across the evening meadows to 
Peckingell. Farmer Austin was a little better. He told me that when 
his first child was born he was one day on business at Farmer Thomas 
Knight's at the Langley Burreil Manor Farm. The old farmer asked 
him if he did not want to have his wife downstairs again. Austin 
said he did, for it was very inconvenient her being upstairs so long 
and he missed her sorely. 'Then,* said Farmer Thomas Knight, TH 
tell you what to do. You pinch the nurse on the stairs and make her 
holler out and that'll fetch the missis down fast enough.' 

Saturday, 4 March 

This morning I went to Bristol. I went to the bookbinder's, 
Williams, above the Drawbridge, and got dear Ettie's name stamped 
on the leather cover of an MS. book of my poems which I am 
copying out for her as an Easter offering. 

Sunday, 5 March 

Going to and returning from Church we met Meredith Brown 
and Arthur Cotes walking. Meredith Brown looked very pleasant 
and friendly, but little did he suspect who made the beautiful 
sermon-case which I carried in my pocket. 

Wednesday, 8 March 

At noon I went to Ellen Matthew's cottage to see if she could 
give me a few garden violets to make up a little nosegay for Mrs. 
Meredith Brown. In the afternoon I walked over to Langley Badge 
with my violets to wish Mrs. Meredith Brown 'Goodbye* as they 
break up their establishment for the season and move to London 
this week. Rain poured all the way but I was glad I went over to- 
day for I find they leave Langley on Friday. I found two ladies with 
Mrs. Meredith Brown, one her cousin Miss Fitzroy and the other 
Lady Hobhouse of Monkton Farleigh. They had come over to 
lunch. I thought Miss Fitzroy very pretty. She was dark. Lady 
Hobhouse (the wife of Sir Charles Hobhouse) has golden hair. 
Their carriage was announced soon after I came in. I saw them to 
their carriage and returned to have a chat with my friend. She told 
me that after a fortnight in London they go to the Pines at Bourne- 
mouth where they spend Easter. 



Saturday, n March 

This fine drying March afternoon I walked over to Lanhill. How 
pleasant and familiar all the Lanhill faces did look. 

It was getting dark as I wished my old friends 'Goodnight* and 
went up die familiar hill past the farm at its foot and the Church 
and Rectory, my own sweet birthplace on its brow, glimmering 
through the dusk. I felt like a spirit revisiting and wandering about 
the old haunts and scenes of its mortal existence. The lights at the 
Folly shone bright and cheerful across the park, the rooks and jack- 
daws rusded and flapped uneasily as they settled to rest in the tops 
of the trees in the wilderness, and one great lone star seemed to be 
watching as a guardian angel the old sweet home where I was born. 
Harden Ewyas, sweet Harden Ewyas. God be very gracious and 
merciful and lift up the light of His countenance upon thee my sweet 
birthplace and the dear house of my childhood. I have ever loved 
thee and ever shall until my heart die. If I forget thee let my right 
hand forget her cunning. Yea, let my tongue cleave unto the roof 
of my mouth if I prefer not Harden Ewyas in my mirth. Harden 
Ewyas, strangers dwell in thy houses and walk in thy gardens and 
the old familiar faces have passed away, but still I am there and thou 
art mine. The house remains the white house on the hill where I 
was bom, there is the ivied Church across the lane to which I was 
first carried to be baptized, there are the meadows and gardens where 
I first pkyed and gathered flowers. Each field and hill and bank has 
its own bright memories and its own sweet story. 

Saturday, 18 March 

Called with Dora at Pew Hill on our new neighbours. We found 
Mrs. Adderley at home and liked her much. Her simple, un- 
affected, kind and gende manner is very pleasing. It was a bright 
cold afternoon and the March sun shining on the distant chalk 
downs made them look green and very near, only as if two or three 
miles away. After I had seen Dora home tie beautiful clear fresh 
bright evening and the clear dry hard roads tempted me to go for a 
brisk solitary walk. I went on to the Plough and up to the Ridge. 
It was die first time since last November that I have passed by die 
house widiout a feeling of great sadness. To-night I felt much 
happier as I thought of dear Ettie. But as I passed slowly by the 
nouse and looked up at the tall poplars swaying gendy in die quiet 

iS 7 6] DEAR ETTIE 299 

evening air I could not help repeating to myself these lines from my 
little poem "The Ridge', which I sent to Ettie. 

* Along the ridge of this fair hill 

As day wanes hear its dying, 
I wander thinking of thee still 

Beneath the poplars' sighing 
That seems for thee in wordless grief 

To mourn so sadly swaying 
And seek a sorrowful relief 

Through inarticulate praying.' 

How the sight of the double-gabled house and the tall poplars 
always bring that lovely face back to me with the remembrance of 
the happy days of last summer before all our trouble came and our 
separation. I went on past the head of the steep green lane in the 
site of the old Chapel and burying pkce where my great-grandfather 
was kid to rest, and thought of that sweet September evening when 
I walked up that green lane with dear Ettie and Ellie and wished 
them Goodbye. I lingered some time leaning over my favourite 
gate, the 'Poet's Gate 1 , and looking at the lovely view. From time 
to time I looked back through the fringe of trees at the chimney 
stacks and double gables of the Ridge and half expected to see dear 
Ettie coming round the turn of the road. But, alas, she is far away 
beneath the pines that sigh beside the southern sea. At length twi- 
light began to fall on the wide and lovely landscape. I turned away 
with a sigh and a heart full of sad sweet tender memories and passed 
over the vilkge green among the pleasant friendly greetings of the 
kindly vilkge people. I always seem to feel at home among these 
people in the vilkge of my forefathers. 

Sunday, 19 March 

A cold dry day with a snowstorm in the evening. As we came 
in at the orchard door together after the morning service my dear 
Father said, 'As you were preaching there came back upon my ear 
an echo of the tones of the sweetest human voice I ever heard, the 
voice of John Henry Newman. No voice but yours ever reminded 
me of him. 

Monday, 20 March 
To-day I actually mustered courage to go to dear Nonsuch again 


though there was a time and not so very long ago when I thought 
I could never go there any more. The day was brilliant and clear 
with a keen north wind and warm sun and the prospect from Deny 
Hill seemed boundless. The air was so clear that the Downs looked 
-close and every little hollow and watercourse was visible. I reached 
Nonsuch in time for luncheon. Mr. Gwatkin had an attack of gout. 
I did not go into the garden and left the house about four o'clock. 
As I crossed the first meadow the tower clock at Spye Park was 
striking four. At the end of the meadow I turned and looked back 
at the dear old picturesque Manor house, Ettie's sweet home. It 
stood bright and cheery in the brilliant afternoon sunshine, and the 
great twin larches on the lawn and the other trees were thickening 
so fast with swelling buds that they looked almost green. The teams 
were busy in the fallows, for it is almost the first day they have been 
able to get on the ground owing to the wet weather. As I drew near 
the Church a tall fair young lady with a blue dress and black jacket 
and luxuriant coils of very bright golden hair turned in at the 
Churchyard gate. She was accompanied by a little boy and went 
into the Church evidently to practise on the organ. I did not know 
who it was at the time but afterwards Ilearnt that it was Miss Ada 
Wyndham. I entered the Churchyard and walked round it till I 
heard the tones of the organ, when I stole softly into the Church 
that I might not disturb or annoy the fair organist. I saw the seats 
in the Chancel where dear Ettie and May used to sit and I seemed to 
feel them near me in their own dear Church. The organ ceased and 
I feared I should be discovered. The young lady, evidently uncon- 
scious of my presence, spoke kindly to the boy and asked if he was 
tired of blowing. He said 'No' and she began another tune. I stole 
quietly out of the Church and sat down on the steps of the porch 
listening to the organ and thinking of dear Ettie and May and the 
beloved feet which had so often come down that winding meadow 
path and trodden the steps of the porch where I was sitting. I 
thought of the last time I sat on those steps writing to dear Ettie 
on that happy evening the 6th of kst October, of all the 
sweet strange sad story that has happened since. All the 
Bournemouth memories of last December came back upon me, 
and those wild sad sweet trysts in the snow and under the 
pine trees, among the sand hills on the East ClifTe and in 
Boscombe Chine. 

j8 7 63 A HAPPY FAMILY 301 

Friday, 24 March 

The family at the little farm of Gastons seems to me a very happy 
family. I think they have the true secret of happiness. When I 
entered they were all sitting at tea round the table. There was the 
patriarchal grandfather, Robert Crook, with his white smock- 
frock, rosy face, and the sweet kindly benevolent look in his eyes. 
The kindly people asked me to join them at their humble meal and 
I did not want a second invitation. The old man took up the sheet 
of music and looked at it. He is a musician and used to play the 
flute at Tytherton Church. Presently the old man rose with a 
courteous apology and went out to attend to the business of the 
little farm. 'Daddy! Daddy!' cried the children as their father 
passed the window and the strong comely pleasant-faced carpenter 
Palmer came in from his day's work, greeted me kindly, and sat 
down by the fire while his wife prepared his tea. I think he is a God- 
fearing man, and a fond husband and father. He told me how for 
ten years he had walked to and from Chippenham in the early 
morning and late night in wild weather, often in times of flood and 
in such darkness that he had sometimes to go down on his knees 
with his little lantern to see if he was in the path, but how he had 
always been cheered and brightened and helped by the thought of 
the beacon light of home and the wife and children and the love 
that awaited him there. 

Wednesday, 29 March 

Visited William Pinnock, the old blind man, and took him from 
my mother a basin of Mid-Lent frumenty. He said he had only 
tasted it once in his life. He used when he was a ploughboy on a 
farm in Melksham Forest to be sent every Mothering Sunday with 
a jug of frumenty from Melksham Forest to a house in Lacock 

Thursday, 30 March 

A lovely warm sunny morning, the purple plumes of the silver 
birch fast thickening with buds waved and swayed gently in the 
soft spring air against the deep cloudless blue sky. The apricot 
blossoms were blowing and under the silver weeping birch the 
daffodils were dancing and nodding their golden heads in the morn- 
ing wind and sunshine. This afternoon rain came on. I went down 
to Greenaway Lane and called on Mrs. Morgan* Then I went to 


the James Knights'. Pretty Bessie came to the door with a bright 
smile of welcome and brought me into the warm cosy kitchen where 
her beautiful sister Mary was at tea with the younger girls who had 
just come in from school. Kitty is growing very pretty and was full 
of fun and romping spirits. It was a charming picture as the mother 
sat on the settle between her two fair blooming daughters with the 
other children grouped about them. Then Kitty ran out into the 
rain and puddles in the farmyard and came in so wet that her shoes 
and stockings had to be stripped off, her lovely limbs were unen- 
cumbered with drawers and Bessie tossed her in the air, and for my 
benefit turned up her legs, showing her beautiful bottom and thighs 
white and soft and warm and rosy and as pretty as a picture. 

Monday, 3 April 

This morning my Mother and Dora drove up to Studley Hill to 
see poor Betsy Penny and Mary Strange. They found Mary going 
mad, and Betsy quite distraught between this and her gathering 

Wednesday, 12 April 

The evening was sunny and brilliant as I went home across the 
bright evening meadows, the sun glinting upon the white smock- 
frocks of the work people as they crossed the meadows on their way 
home after their work was done. 
Saturday, 15 Apri, Easter Eve 

This morning I walked into Chippenham and posted a long letter 
and a MS. book of my poems to dear Ettie. 

This evening I had received from dear Ettie two such sad sweet 
little verses, beginning 'When shall we meet again'. I think she had 
composed them herself. I took the verses from my pocket and read 
them again in the gathering twilight. They were very sweet but 
very sad and made me feel strangely unhappy. I could not quite 
tell what they meant. 

Easter Sunday^ 16 April 

Thank God for a bright beautiful happy Easter Day. 

I waited for the postman thinking that Easter morning might 
bring me a line from dear Ettie to explain the sweet sad verses of 
Easter Eve. Soon I saw the postman coming by a meadow path 
across the sunny Common. He held several letters and a paper 
parcel and my heart beat with hope and expectation as he put them 


into my hand. But there was nothing from Ettie and I went sorrow- 
fully back to the house. 

There was a large congregation this morning. There were 41 
Communicants beside the parson and clerk, the largest number that 
I or any one else had ever seen in Langley Church at once. The alms 
were ;i.3-*o. 

When all the people had left the Church and no one remained 
but the Clerk putting away the sacred vessels I walked alone round 
the silent sunny peaceful Churchyard and visited the graves of my 
sleeping friends Jane Hatherell, Mary JefFeries, Anne Hawkins, John 
Jefferies, George Bryant, Emily Banks, John Hatherell, Limpedy 
Buckland the gipsy girl, and many more. There they lay, the squire 
and the peasant, the landlord and the labourer, young men and 
maidens, old men and children, the infant of days beside the 
patriarch of nearly five score years, sister, brother, by the same 
mother, all in her breast their heads did lay and crumble to their 
common clay. And over all she lovingly threw her soft mantle of 
green and gold, the greensward and buttercups, daisies and prim- 
roses. There they lay all sleeping well and peacefully after life's 
fitful fevers and waiting for the Great Spring morning and the 
General Resurrection of the dead. John Hatherell, the good old 
sawyer, now sleeps in the same God's acre to which he helped to 
carry the gipsy girl Limpedy Buckland to her burial more than 
sixty years ago. 

Wednesday, 19 April 

No letter from Ettie again. I cannot think why. I am afraid 
something must have happened. To-day I went to Monnington, 
leaving Chippenham by tie up mail at 1 1 o'clock. Stormy weather. 

Thursday, 20 April 

This morning I received a long sad sweet loving letter from my 
darling Ettie, a tender beautiful letter of farewell, the last she will ever 
be able to write to me. With it came enclosed a kind friendly little 
note from young Mrs. Meredith Brown, so friendly and so kind, 
saying she is afraid Ettie and I must hold no further communication 
by letter or poetry or any other way. I know it. I know it. She is 
right and I have been, alas, very very wrong. She says she knows I 
care for Ettie too much to wish to cause her needless unhappiness. 
It is true. She does me justice and yet no more than justice. I will 


not make my darling sorrowful or cause her to shed one unnecessary 
tear, or tempt her to do wrong. The best and only way left me of 
showing my love for her now is to be silent. But oh, I hope she will 
not quite forget me. She says she never will. Yet perhaps it is selfish 
of me to wish this, and it may be better for her that she should. I 
hope, I hope, I have not done her any harm or wrong. She says, 
God bless her, that I never have. How kind and gentle she has 
always been to me, how sweet and good, how patient and forbear- 
ing, how noble and generous, how self-sacrificing and devoted, how 
unselfish and loving. Ettie. Ettie, my own only lost love, yet not 
lost, for we shall meet in heaven. Ettie, oh Ettie, my own dear 
little girl 

As I walked round the Rectory garden at Monnington this 
morning thinking of Ettie's kst letter and all the wild sweet sorrow- 
ful past the great everlasting sigh of the majestic firs, as mournful 
and soothing as the sighing of the sea, blended with my mood and 
sympathized with the sadness of my heart. The beautiful weeping 
birch too wept with me and its graceful drooping tresses softly 
moving reminded me with a strange sweet thrill of Ettie's hair. 

Saturday, 22 April 

A lovely summer morning which I spent in sauntering round the 
lawn at Monnington Rectory watching the waving of the birch 
tresses, listening to the sighing of the firs in the great solemn avenue, 
that vast Cathedral, and reading Robert Browning's 'In a Gondola' 
and thinking of dear Ettie. To-day there was a luncheon party 
consisting of Andrew and Mary Pope from Blakemere, Mr. and 
Mrs. Phillott from Staunton-on-Wye, Houseman, and Mr. Robin- 
son from Norton Canon. After they had left William and I walked 
up to the top of Moccas Park, whence we had a glorious view of the 
Golden Valley shining in the evening sunlight with the white houses 
of Dorstone scattered about the green hillsides 'like a handful of 
pearls in a cup of emerald' and the noble spire of Peterchurch rising 
from out of the heart .of the beautiful rich valley which was closed 
below by the Sugar Loaf and the Skyrrid blue above Abergavenny. 
We came tumbling and plunging down the steep hillside of Moccas 
Park, slipping, tearing and sliding through oak and birch and fallow 
wood of which there seemed to be underfoot an accumulation of 
several feet, the gathering ruin and decay probably of centuries. 


As we came down the lower slopes of the wooded hillside into the 
glades of the park the herds of deer were moving under the bro,wn 
oaks and 'the hrilliant green hawthorns, and we came uporir^ 
tallest largest stateliest ash I ever saw and what seemed at first in 
the dusk to be a great ruined grey tower, but which proved to be 
the vast ruin of the king oak of Moccas Park, hollow and broken but 
still alive and vigorous in parts and actually pushing out new shoots 
and branches. That tree may be 2000 years old. It measured roughly 
33 feet round by arm stretching. 

I fear those grey old men of Moccas, those grey, gnarled, low- 
browed, knock-kneed, bowed, bent, huge, strange, long-armed, 
deformed, hunchbacked, misshapen oak men that stand waiting 
and watching century after century, biding God's time with both 
feet in the grave and yet tiring down and seeing out generation after 
generation, with such tales to tell, as when they whisper them to 
each other in the midsummer nights, make the silver birches weep 
and the poplars and aspens shiver and the long ears of the hares and 
rabbits stand on end. No human hand set those oaks. They are 
'the trees which the Lord hath planted*. They look as if they had 
been at the beginning and making of the world, and they will pro- 
bably see its end. 

Sunday, 23 April 

One of the quiet peaceful Monnington Sundays. I like a Sunday 
at Monnington, it is so calm and so serene. There is no hurry, no 
crowd, no confusion, no noise. 

The silver birch droops and waves her long dusky tresses as a 
maiden with delicate white limbs and slender arms and hands lets 
down her long hair and combs it to the curve of her beautiful knees 
shrinking from sight and hiding herself in the dusky cloud and 
twilight of her tresses rippling to her feet. 

Then I love to walk up the great avenue, as up a vast and solemn 
Cathedral aisle, while the wind sighs through the branches of tall 
sombre Scotch firs overhead and makes mournful music as it 
breathes upon that natural Aeolian harp which is the organ in that 
Cathedral. The Choir is comprised of the wild birds and with their 
songs chimes in the flowing river as it rushes over the rocks and the 
voices of bells ringing for service from the hillsides around. 

The three bells of Monnington begin to chime quickly from the 

3 o6 KILVERT'S DIARY [^ r 

Church Tower beyond the old grey mansion of the Glendowcrs. 
We stroll down tie lane over the pitched pavement. Along the 
larches which line the old slanting mouldering lych-gate sit four or 
five boys. The bells stop, the clerk French appears standing bare- 
headed in the churchyard by the flat and broken gravestone of 
'Owen Glendwrdwy divine', looking to see if any one is coming to 
church. An old man and two or three women heave in sight coming 
along the high walk by the side of the low osier bed now gay with 
the golden clumps of marsh marigolds. The Priest's bell strikes up, 
we enter the church and robe in the vestry, the chief farmer (James 
of Monnington Court) comes in in his grey coat, followed by his 
wife. Thersie plays the harmonium and the service begins. I read 
prayers in the morning and William preached, a slight but masterly 
and impressive sermon. 

Wednesday, 26 April 

This morning I bade farewell to sweet kind hospitable beautiful 
Monnington. and came to Clyro. 

Friday, 28 April 

At Llan Thomas some of the girls were playing croquet on the 
bright sunny lawn with a Miss Ravenscroft who had come to 
spend the afternoon with them. Lady Hereford, who had brought 
her from Tregoyd, was out fishing with her eldest son Robert 
Devereux and Mary Thomas. In the drawing room I found Mrs. 
Thomas looking well, bright and cheery. She has got through this 
winter better than usual. Daisy came into the drawingroom, shy, 
confused and blushing painfully, but looking very nice and well. 

After the game of croquet was over Charlotte and Edith Thomas 
took me to the Church by my request to see their Easter decorations. 
Then we came back to afternoon tea and found the fishing party 
returned with empty baskets. Edith showed me her beautiful 
drawings of wild flowers and fungi. No sooner had Lady Hereford 
and her party gone than I found she had taken my umbrella and 
left me a much better one, a fine silk umbrella in place of my 
zenilla. Edith and Daisy took me to the garden and were very kind 
to me, Daisy giving me a sprig of sweet verbena, and we had a nice 
long talk together. When I went away they sent m$ ( half a mile or 
more along the road and we had a merry kughing walk. It was so 


pleasant, just like the dear old times, and the girls were so nice and 
cordial and friendly. I do like those girls. They half expected to 
meet their sisters coming home from a walk or pretended to, but 
as Mary and Grace did not appear they were obliged to turn back 
with a pleasant affectionate 'Goodbye*. After we had parted Daisy 
turned and called back with a bright sweet loving look, 'Please give 
my best love to your sister*. 

As I went back I called at the almshouses again and knocked at 
Mrs. Michael's door. 'Come in, Sir/ she said, 'Home's 1 come. She 
is in the other room,' 'Florrie, Florrie!' she called. The door of the 
inner room opened gently and Florrie entered. I never saw any- 
thing so lovely. A tall beautiful stately girl with an exquisite figure, 
a noble carriage, the most lovely delicate and aristocratic features, 
gentle loving blue eyes shaded by long silken lashes, eyebrows 
delicately arched and exquisitely pencilled, and beautiful silky 
tresses of golden brown hair falling in curling clusters upon her 
shoulders. And the loveliest part of it all was that the girl seemed 
perfectly unconscious of her own loveliness. Well, I thought, you 
will make some hearts ache some day. 

She was indeed as Mrs. Vaughan said 'beautiful and wild and 
stately, a true mountain child'. I was dazzled by her beauty and 
almost overcome with emotion. The girl dropped a pretty courtesy 
and smiled. I took her little slender hand. 'Do you remember me, 
Florence?' 'Oh yes, Sir,' she said, opening her blue eyes wide with 
a sweet surprised look peculiar to herself. She had a quick timid 
almost breathless way of speaking in a low undertone, half 
frightened, half confiding, which completed the charm. I asked 
after my old schoolgirl pupil, her sister Eleanor. 'Eleanor will be 
sure to be very sorry not to see you, Sir,' said Florence in her quick 
sweet timid voice and manner. *I am going home to-morrow for a 
few days,' she added breathlessly. I resolved instantly to pay a visit 
to the Upper Noyadd and see her and Eleanor and the kindly 
people at ner dear home, the mountain farm. I was obliged to tear 
myself away from her. I could scarcely part. One more look, one 
more clasp of the tiny slender hand. Good-bye, darling.' Good- 
bye, Florence, sweet lovely beautiful Florence, rightly named 'The 
Flower*, the Flower of light and sweetness and loveliness. Good- 
bye, dear, dear mountain child. Until to-morrow. To-morrow we 
1 Florence Hill 


shall meet again. Meanwhile angels ever bright and fair watch over 
thee, and happy be thy dreams. 

[Kilvcrt goes to Ilysdinam.] 
Thursday, 4 May 

Breakfast at 8 with the Archdeacon, train at 9, he to Doldowlod 
and I to look at St. Harmon's. Soon after leaving Rhayader the 
railway leaves the valley of the Wye and enters the sweet vale of 
Marteg by a wild and narrow gorge which soon opens, broadens 
and settles down into a winding valley shut in by gentle hills about 
which are dotted lone white cottages and farms. The little by- 
station of St. Harmon's is kept by a handsome pleasant-faced woman, 
very stout, who lives in a cottage on the line. The Church stands 
close to the station on a little mount half veiled by a clump of trees. 
It was built in the Dark Ages of fifty years ago and was simply 
hideous. But ugly as it appeared externally the interior was worse 
and my heart sank within me like a stone as I entered the door. A 
bare cold squalid interior and high ugly square boxes for seats, a. 
three-decker pulpit and desk, no stove, a flimsy altar rail, a ragged 
faded altar cloth, a singing gallery with a broken organ, a dark litde 
box for a vestry and a roof in bad repair, admitting the rain. Suck 
was St. Harmon's Church as I first saw it. 

[Kilvert returns to Langley Burrell.] 

Sunday, 14 May 

My Father and Mother being away at Norwood staying with 
Sam and Emmie I had the two services to myself. Preached in the 
morning from the day's Epistle, James i. 17, on Good Gifts. In the 
afternoon I preached from the Gospel for the day, xvi. 7. 'Never- 
theless I tell you the truth. If is expedient for you that I go away.' 

I walked on to Kington to help Edward Awdry and preached the 
same sermon, telling the people at Langley and Kington the sweet 
sad story of how those words came to me as a token in Salisbury 
Cathedral on that dark sorrowful winter's day, the 7th of last 
December, the day I parted from and saw the last of my darling 
Ettie. I told them how one dark cold snowy day in midwinter a 
man who had just parted perhaps for ever from his dearest friend 
came almost, broken-hearted to a Cathedral city, and how being 
dekyed there on his journey for some hours he wandered about the 
cold desolate snowy streets, sick at heart, broken-spirited, well nigh 

!8 7 6J OXFORD 309 

broken-hearted, with the tender loving despairing words of the last 
farewell ringing in his ears as he still seemed to feel the last long 
lingering pressure of the hand and the last long clinging embrace 
and passionate kiss and the latest sorrowful imploring look and 
beseeching word, 'Don't forget'. I told them how the broken- 
hearted man wandered at length into the Cathedral close as the short 
winter twilight was fast passing into night, and saw the leafless 
boughs of the elms bare against the sky and the great spire towering 
dark amongst the murky snow clouds and the snow on the Cathedral 
roof and the lighted windows of the great Church shining through 
the dark and heard the roll of the distant organ which reminded 
him that it was the hour of Evensong. I told them how the sorrow- 
ful traveller went into the Cathedral and how, as he entered, the 
second lesson for the day was being read from the i6th Chapter of 
St. John's Gospel and how the first words that fell on his ear were 
those 'from the 7th verse, 'Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is 
expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away the Comforter 
will not come unto you, but if I depart I will send Him unto you/ 
I told them how the broken-hearted man took the words as a sign 
and token from heaven and how they comforted him greatly for 
he thought it might be better for his friend that they had parted and 
that he had gone away and he hoped that now his dear friend might 
be comforted. All this I told them. But I did not say that I was the 
broken-hearted traveller, that the story was my own, and that I was 
speaking of one of the great sorrows of my life. 

Monday, 22 May 

To-day I went to Oxford by the I o'clock train to pay a visit to 
my dear old College friend Anthony Lawson Mayhew at his new 
home St. Margaret's, Bradmore Road. I had not been to Oxford 
for two years. The first sight of the old University from the railway, 
and the noble cluster of famous towers and spires always rouse in 
me an indescribable thrill of pride and love and enthusiasm. There 
is nothing like Oxford. 

Mayhew met me at the station at 3 o'clock. He came straight 
from the Taylor Buildings where 'he had been attending a lecture 
given by a Dane named Thomassen fresh from Copenhagen. The 
lecture was on the Slavonic languages and as the lecturer had 
a severe cold and a * Slavonic cough* and spoke in a very low voice 


Mayhew was not much wiser. We walked up into the dear old 
streets. As a heavy shower came on we went into the RaddifFe 
library where I became engrossed by a life of Heine. When the 
shower had passed we wandered towards St. Margaret's. In the 
Parks we met Griffiths, the present Warden of Wadham, a kind 
pleasant courteous old gentleman, and Spurling whom I remember 
as a very junior scholar when I took my degree and went down. He 
is now Dean of Keble College. We also met a short stout gentleman 
with a double chin and large umbrella, a kindly face and a merry eye, 
who buttonholed Mayhew and began to inveigh in an aggrieved 
tone against the folly, perversity and bad taste of the University 
residents and visitors in rushing in crowds of 1200 to hear the 
Bishop of Derry (Alexander) give an ornamental rhetorical 
flourish by way of a Bampton Lecture in the morning and leaving 
himself (Professor Pritchard, Professor of Astronomy and Select 
Preacher) to hold forth to empty benches in the afternoon. He 
thought it was a sin and a shame. He declared the Bishop's Bamp- 
ton Lectures to be growing worse week by week and to be an 
insult to the understanding of the University. 'Sir', he said, 'they 
are barren, there is nothing in them at all. They neither satisfy the 
intellect nor touch the heart. I have in my pocket', he continued, 
'a letter from a Manchester gentleman who is steeped to the eyes 
in cotton. He says that he was spending Sunday in Oxford and he 
heard in the University Church what he will never forgot as long 
as he lives.' At this point the Professor's merry eye twinkled and 
he smiled broadly. Thinking that the Manchester gentleman's 
remark applied to the balderdash which the Professor represented 
the Bishop's Bampton Lecture to have been and taking my cue 
from the Professor's smile I here laughed loud and long. The 
Professor eyed me oddly and went on with his story, from which 
I was horrified to learn that the remark in the Manchester gentle- 
man's letter applied not to the Bishop of Derry's Bampton Lecture 
but to Professor Pritchard's own select sermon which had touched 
the cotton lord to the heart and done him much spiritual good. 
And I had received the recital of this interesting, touching and solemn 
episode with aloud and derisive kugh. Meantime my dear oldabsent- 
minded friend had become oblivious of dinner and we arrived an 
hour too late, to find that the ladies, his wife and mother, had 
waited half an hour and then had given us up for lost. ' 


After dinner we went down to the river and saw the Boat races 
very well from the Queen's Barge. In Merton Meadows we over- 
took 'David' Laing, now Fellow of Corpus, and we came upon him 
again on board the Barge. David was in an odd excitable defiant 
mood and whilst walking backwards like a 'peacock in his pride* 
and declaring that he would rather be a drunkard than a teetotaller, 
because there would be some pleasure and satisfaction out of drink 
and drunkenness, he was very like to have got enough to drink and 
to have put his paradox to the test for he suddenly staggered as if 
he were really intoxicated, overbalanced himself, and nearly fell 
into the river. Then David suddenly became hospitable and 
invited us to breakfast on Saturday, but shortening his notice of 
invitation like a telescope he gradually brought us nearer to his 
view and heart and at last it was settled that we should breakfast 
with our old college friend in his rooms at Corpus to-morrow. 

Tuesday, 23 May 

Mayhew and I went this morning to Corpus to breakfast with 
Laing. David has luxurious double rooms, oak-panelled, in the 
Fellows' Buildings, one of his windows commands a prospect of the 
Cathedral, Merton Meadows and the Broad Walk, and from 
another there was what David called an 'ancient' and very beautiful 
view of some of the old picturesque buildings and the tower of 
Merton and the pinnacles of Magdalen Tower rising grandly above 
the distant elms. We had a merry laughing breakfast spiced with 
many college stories and recollections of old days. David read us 
some of his own poetry describing the solitude of a mountain in the 
Highlands of Scotland, a pretty poem, and treated us also to a selec- 
tion from the Jacobean poets and the beautiful noble lines to his 
dead wife by Richard King, Bishop of Chichester. These were 
quite new to me, and they impressed me deeply. 

After breakfast we took leave of David and strolled into the 
College gardens where I had never been before and along the high 
terraced walk upon the old town wall overshadowed by the 
drooping feathering limes. As we walked upon this lime terrace 
we heard the bells beginning to chime for the ten o'clock service 
down at Magdalen and we resolved to go to Magdalen Chapel. 
Scarcely were we seated in the stalls than we heard the rustle of 
footsteps and white wings and the angel choir newlighted on this 

3 i2 KILVERT'S DIARY [ Wfly 

earthly shore came in and took their places. Then followed the 
praying of the sweet solitary voice answered by the chorus of 
angels and the splendid storm of the anthem as we 'heard once more 
in college fanes the storm their high-built organs make and shake 
the prophets blazoned in the panes'. 

After Chapel we passed through the cloisters and sauntered 
round Magdalen Walks where the milk-white hawthorns drooped 
over the Cherwell and the sun came dazzling and flickering through 
the glorious canopy of the young fresh green foliage and chequering 
the floor of Addison's Walk with moving light and shade. 

In the afternoon I went with sweet Ruthie and Ethel and their 
father and mother to the Boat Race. As we went down I taught 
the children the names of the different Colleges and halls and they 
were very apt scholars. It was cold and gusty on the river. Mortie 
Rooke whom we met last night gave us a ticket for the Oriel barge 
and the children were delighted while the old scene passed before 
my eyes like a familiar dream, the moving crowd upon the banks, 
the barges loaded with ladies and their squires, the mpvement of 
small boats, canoes and skiffs darting about the river, punts crossing 
with their standing freights of men huddled together, then the 
first gun booming from IfHey, people looking at thek watches, 
the minute gun five minutes later and last the report which 
started the boats and told us they were off. Then the suspense, the 
listening, the straining of the eyes, the first movement in the distant 
crowd now seen to be running, the crowd pouring over the Long 
Bridges, the far away shouting rising into a roar as the first boat 
came round the point with the light lashing upon the pinion-like 
motion of the rising and falling oars, the river now alive with boats, 
the strain and the final struggle, the plash of oars, the mad uproar, 
the frantic shouting as the boats pass the flag scatheless, then the 
slow procession following, the victors rowing proudly in amongst 
plaudits from the barges and the shore while the vanquished come 
humbly behind. 

Wednesday, 24 May 

To-day we went by train to Eynsham on our way to luncheon 
with Dr. Higgs at Handborough Rectory. His waggonette met 
us at Eynsham and we arrived at Handborough in a drenching 
thunder shower, but received a very kind warm welcome which 


made up for everything. A stout elderly lady with fierce eyes and 
teeth was in the drawing-room. She was a visitor staying in the 
house. She was introduced to me as 'Mrs. Stone'. Soon I discovered 
that she was 'the great Mrs. Stone' of Streatley, the aunt of Emily 
Morrell, of whom I have heard Hopewell Morrell speak so often, 
and we found many mutual friends to talk about. At luncheon 
Mrs. Stone amused us very much. It seemed that Mrs. Stone 
always jobbed her horses at .90 a year for the pair. Mrs. Higgs 
accused her of extravagance. Mrs. Stone bridled and fired up and 
turning to Mrs. Higgs with the fiercest expression of her fierce eyes 
and teeth said emphatically, 'The last words that Mr. Stone said to 
me before he died were, "Anne**, he said, "whatever you do be 
sure you always job your horses." * I was deeply impressed by the 
sagacity, foresight and thoughtfulness of the late Mr. Stone and filled 
with admiration at the care which he showed for the stable arrange- 
ments of Mrs. Stone's establishment in the days of her approaching 
widowhood, but I was so much surprised at his selection of a topic 
upon which to spend his latest words and his last breath that I did 
not know which way to look, and some other members of the 
company were in the same condition. But we felt that we were in 
possession of the result of the late Mr. Stone's acute observation and 
long experience and of the accumulated wisdom of his life. Mrs. 
Higgs also amused us by a naive description of her engagement and 
waiting for a living. At length Handborough became vacant and 
the engagement terminated happily in a marriage. *And then*, she 
said, with grand decision and personal emphasis, 'and then I came 
to Handborough.' The Doctor seemed to be a secondary personage, 
to move dimly in the background and to follow humbly in the wake 
of his better half. 

After luncheon we were taken to see a beautiful Alderney calf, 
one of the most beautiful little creatures I ever beheld, pure fawn 
without a speck of white and with the eyes and limbs of a deer. 
The Doctor proposed to guide us to the calf house but his wife and 
daughter gently smiled to scorn the idea of his being able to find 
the way to the calf and scarcely suspected him of knowing that 
there was one. 

Then we visited the Church which has many fine and interesting 
points and amongst the rest the fine remains of a Rood Screen and 
Rood Loft. Mrs. Stone despised this screen and advised the Doctor 


to pull it down as so much lumber. 'Why', I said, 'it's worth its 
weight in gold.' 'Have it down then', said Mrs. Stone promptly. 

Holy Thursday, 25 May 

Ascension Day. Mayhew and I made a rush for Magdalen 
Chapel this morning but were too late, Chapel having begun at 
9.30 as is usual on Saints' Days. We loitered through the Botanical 
Gardens and up the Broad Walk. At length while wandering about 
Merton we heard the roll of the organ and went in to the Ante 
Chapel. Service was going on in the Chapel and the first words that 
struck upon our ears were the opening sentences of that fearful 
Athanasian Creed. We remained in the stalls in the Ante Chapel. 
When service was over and the very small congregation had 
passed out we sauntered through the quadrangle till we came to 
the iron gate of the college gardens. It was open and we went in. 
I had never been in Merton Gardens before. They are very beautiful 
and the famous Terrace Walk upon the old city walls and the lime 
avenue are most delightful. The soft green sunny air was filled 
with the cooing of doves and the chiming of innumerable bells. It 
was a beautiful peaceful spot where abode an atmosphere of calm 
and happy security and the dewy garden was filled with a sweet 
green gloom as we loitered along the celebrated Terrace Walk, 
looking on one hand from the ancient City walls upon Merton 
Meadows and the Cathedral spire rising from the grey clustered 
buildings of Christ Church and the noble elms of the Broad Walk 
which hid from us the barges and the gay river, and delighting on 
the other side ia the picturesque grey sharp gables of Merton College 
half veiled by the lime avenue rising from the green soft lawns and 
reposing in the silence and beauty and retirement of the shady 
happy garden. We suddenly became aware that the peace of this 
paradise was being disturbed by the voices and kughter and 
trampling of a company of people and immediately there came 
into sight a master and a bachelor of arts in caps and gowns carrying 
a ladder on their shoulders assisted by several men, and attended by 
a number of parish boys. Every member of the company bore in 
his hand a long white peeled willow wand with which they were 
noisily beating and thrashing the old City walls and the Terrace 
Walk. 'They are beating the bounds', exclaimed Mayhew. The 
master of arts was Knox, the Vicar of the Merton living and parish 


of St. John the Baptist, the bachelor of arts was one of the Fellows 
of Merton and the men in attendance were Churchwardens, clerks, 
sidesmen and parish authorities. The ladder was let down over the 
city walls at two places where the walls were crossed by the parish 
bounds and at certain important points which it was desired that 
the boys should keep in mind they were made to scramble for 
sweetmeats. We determined to follow the procession and see the 
end. We came down into Deadman's Walk and then passed up 
a flight of steps and through an iron gate into Corpus Gardens. 
Here we were stopped by a gate of which the key could not be 
found for some time. In this quarter the parish boundary ran through 
an outhouse where used to be an ancient wheel for raising water. 
In this outhouse a cross was scratched upon a 1 particular stone to 
mark where the boundary passed through the wall. By this time 
the missing key had been found and we found ourselves in the 
private garden of the President of Corpus, Matthias Wilson. It 
seemed to be an ancient custom here that those who beat the 
bounds should be regaled with bread, cheese and ale from the 
private Buttery of the President of Corpus. Accordingly we 
gathered under an old archway while the customary dole was 
Jianded out to us over the buttery hatch. Here Knox took occasion 
to remark in his merry laughing mischievous way with a sidelong 
look at Mayhew and myself that all those who beat the bounds 
were expected to contribute towards the expenses of the Church. 
The proposed offertory however produced nothing and when we 
had finished our bread, cheese and ale we passed on through a 
pretty conservatory where the President came out of his library to 
speak to Knox and Mayhew. The bounds now led us through an 
outer court where the parish boys were liberally splashed with cold 
water by undergraduates from the windows of the upper rooms. 
Eventually we emerged close by Canterbury Gate and went into 
Oriel. Here there was a grand uproar in the quadrangle, the men 
threw out to the boys old hats (which were immediately used as 
footballs), biscuits were also thrown out and hot coppers, and the 
quadrangle echoed with shouting and laughter' and the whole place 
was filled with uproar, scramble, and general licence and confusion. 
Knox could scarcely get his boys under control again, but at length 
we went up the hall steps, down through the cloisters into the 
kitchen precincts where there was a Hogarthian scene and a laugh- 


able scrimmage with the young flat-white-capped cooks that might 
have furnished a picture for the Idle Apprentice. The procession 
passed next up Oriel Lane and here we left them. 

This afternoon Mayhew and I attended the evensong of the 
Ascension at New College Chapel. Before the service began, finding 
the cloister gate open, we strolled round the grey peaceful green 
cloisters where high overhead the two great bells were chiming 
sweedy and deeply for evensong in the tall old turreted grey 
tower. There is something about the cloisters of New College 
which is more grey and hoary and venerable than anything about 
the cloisters of Magdalen. They have an air of higher antiquity 
and a more severely monastic look. Indeed one half expects still to 
meet grey monkish figures still pacing round the stone-flagged 
cloisters or crossing the square open greensward in the centre and 
looking up and listening to the bells chiming overhead in the great 
grey Tower. 

The Chapel was filled with people. There were 'High Prayers', 
a magnificent tempest of an Anthem, and a superb voluntary after 
the service during which people stood about in picturesque groups 
in the light streaming from the great West window or sat listening 
in the Antechapel stalls. 

We went to hear Father Stanton preach at St. Barnabas. The 
service was at 8 o'clock and the evening light was setting behind the 
lofty Campanile as we entered. The large Church was almost 
full, the great congregation singing like one man. The clergy 
and choir entered with a procession, incense bearers and 
a great gilt cross, the thurifers and acolytes being in short white 
surplices over scarlet cassocks and the last priest in the procession 
wearing a biretta and a chasuble stiff with gold. The Magnificat 
seemed to be the central point in the service and at the words 'For 
behold ^from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed' the 
black: biretta and golden chasuble (named Shuttleworth) advanced, 
was 'censed' by the thurifer, then took the censer from him and 
censed the cross, the banners, the lights and the altar, till the Church 
was all in a fume. At least so Mayhew said. I myself could not see 
exactly what was done though I knew some ceremony was going 
on. It appeared to me to be pure Mariolatry. Father Stanton took 
for his text 'He is altogether lovely', Canticles ii. The matter was 
not original or interesting, and the manner was theatrical and 


overdone. I should think every eye in that great congregation was 
quite dry. The text was repeated constantly in a very low die-away 
tone. The sermon came after the Third Collect. I was disappointed 
in it and so I think were many more. After the service there was an 
offertory and a processional hymn, and then round came the pro- 
cession down the South aisle and up the nave in the following order. 
First the thurifer in short white surplice and scarlet cassock swinging 
a chained censer high in the air and bringing it back with a sudden 
check and violent jerk which brought the incense out in stifling 
cloud. Next an acolyte in a similar dress bearing aloft a great gilt 
cross. Then three banners waving and moving above the heads of 
the people in a weird strange ghostly march, as the banner-bearers 
steered them clear of the gaslights. After them came two wand- 
bearers preceding the clergy, Father Stanton walking in the midst 
and looking exhausted, the rear of the procession being brought up 
by the hideous figure of the emaciated ghost in the black biretta 
and golden chasuble. 

As we came out of Church Mayhew said to me, Well, did you 
ever see such a function as that?' No, I never did and I don't care 
if I never do again. This was the grand function of the Ascension 
at St. Barnabas, Oxford. The poor humble Roman Church hard 
by is quite plain, simple and Low Church in its ritual compared 
with St. Barnabas in its festal dress on high days and holidays. 

Friday, 26 May 

This evening my host and hostess gave a pleasant dinner party. 
The guests were Mr. and Mrs. Spurling, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace and 
Mrs. Wallace's sister, the Wallaces being all kindly Scots. Mrs. 
Mayhew's music in the evening was a great treat. She plays 

Before dinner the children took me upstairs to see their nursery 
and playroom and rocking horse upon which Ethel rode fearlessly. 
While I was in the day nursery dear lovely little Janet was brought 
up wrapped in a dressing gown sweet and fresh from her evening 
bath and was put to bed. Then the girls would have me go into 
the next room to see Janet in bed. So we went in and found her 
pretty and rosy with tumbled curly hair Tying in her little soft 
white nest contentedly sucking chocoktes. I sat down upon her 
bed and the rest gathered and so Queen Janet held her Court as 


pleased as possible. But she was not satisfied to remain in bed and 
soon had her round plump limbs out from under the sheets with 
the innocent simplicity of childhood and her pretty little white 
feet in my lap, as she sat bolstered up by the pillows smiling, rosy 
and curly, and still contentedly sucking her chocolate. *Dear 
Ruthie stood by her little sister kind, sweet and motherly. They 
share their little bed together, 'two dumplings' as Ruthie said, 
The children brought and showed me their little treasures, but 
Janet was still the centre of the Court group and reigned from 
her bed as from a throne. Then the father dressed for dinner came 
in to see his children and wish them 'Good night*. It was a lovely 
family group, a beautiful picture. 

Monday ; 29 May 

Oak-apple day and the children all came to school with breast- 
knots of oak leaves. 

Trinity Sunday, njune 

This morning came a letter from the Bishop of St. David's offer- 
ing me the Vicarage of St. Harmon's. I wrote and accepted it, 
Then it has come at last and I must leave my dear old home and 
parish and say goodbye to Langley and all my dear kind friends 
there. It will be a hard bitter wrench and a sorrowful, a very sorrow- 
ful parting. It seems dreadful to leave my Father alone at his age 
and with his infirmities to contend with the worries and anxieties of 
the parish and at the tender mercies of a curate. I hope I have not 
acted selfishly in leaving him. But at my age I feel that I cannot 
throw away a chance in life and our tenure of this living is a very 
precarious one. It is 'the warm nest on the rotten bough'. I have 
not sought this or any other preferment. Indeed I have rather 
shrunk from it. And as it has so come to me without my wish or 
seeking of my own it seems as if the Finger of God were in it and 
as if I were but following the calling of His Voice and the beckoning, 
guiding and leading of His Hand. 

Mcnday, 19 June 

Walked into Chippenham early, caught the Vicar in Church just 
after morning prayers, and got him and the Rector of Kelloways 
(Clarke) to sign my Letters Testimonial which I then forwarded to 
Gloucester by the early post for the countersignature of our own 


This afternoon I went down out of the heat and glare of the 
summer day into the cool green shades of the Happy Valley. 
Tiience I went on up the opposite slope of the green hill through the 
beautiful meadows to Langley Fitzurse. As I mounted the slope 
there were lovely glimpses of the far blue hills and chalk downs seen 
through the tops of the luxuriant elms of the Happy Valley, which 
lay beneath me, a sea of rich bright green foliage. To me this was 
all enchanted ground for Ettie's dear sake. I came into a long narrow 
meadow sloping down from Langley Ridge at its head to the Happy 
Valley at its foot. In this meadow, about halfway down the slope, 
grew three beautiful elms all a-row and lower still a solitary tree in 
the midst of the meadow. In a sweet day-dream I seemed to sec the 
white frocks of three girls sitting on the grass and nestling under the 
shadow of the elms in the sultry midsummer afternoon. I knew 
them and amongst them shone like stars the one pair of dark eyes 
that once were all the world to me, and again I saw that rare sweet 
smile provoked by love's caresses and the glimmer of those white 
and pearly teeth as the sweet ros6bud lips pouted and parted for an 
instant like a swift and sudden sunburst, quickly passing, for those 
rosy sister lips were so fond of kissing each other that they could 
not be kept asunder long. 

At the top of the long green meadow near the double-roofed 
grey house with red chimney stacks which stands upon Langley 
Ridge between the dark cypresses and green poplar spires, there 
grew two large holly bushes and amongst the dark green glossy 
leaves of one holly thicket had twined a slender graceful trailing 
spray of wild briar rose spreading its arms abroad, over-arching, 
and swinging to and fro in the soft summer air and bright sunshine. 
The spray was starred with blossoms, not the pale pink or white 
flowers, but roses of a deep rich red fit to twine round Ettie's lovely 
brow or wreathe in her dark clustering curls. But, alas, it would 
have been a crown of thorns. 

[Kilvert visits London.] 

Saturday, 24 June 

Midsummer Day, and the cuckoo singing from Gipsy Hill. 
Walked to sweet green Dulwich and visited the picture gallery. 
Rembrandt's immortal servant girl still leaned on her round white 
arms a-smiling from the window as she has leaned and smiled for 


tkee tend red years since that summer's day wkn kr master fe 
kr portrait and made kr immortal, imperisliaUe and ever yoi, 
St, Setastian stl raised his eyes to leaven with tie sutliine pafci 
loot of tender submission and gentle resignation, Ik stte 
solitary white angel stl hovered down through the gooini 
jacol's Dream, Tie Oriental-looHng Spanish flower gi 
offered kr flowers for ak Tk Spanish toys sti lug' 
and went on with their game, and Alert Cuyp's cows 
a boil at sunset stood or lay atout in tk evening glow chewin? 

/ y o Q 

cud and looking placidly over the wide level pastures of HoiU, 
In tie afternoon 1 went with Katie, Mary and Charlotte to it 
Palace and saw over the heads of the people Myers 1 
me girls riding and jumping 
elephants, etc, 



Monday, 31 December 

A fine miild spring morning, bright sunshine, the river full, swift 
and brown, but falling, the cedars and the bright green lawn 
terraces very lovely in the morning sunshine. As I crossed Bred- 
wardine Bridge I went in to see the Jenkinses who have kept the 
bridge toll gate for 2 months. They seem nice old people. The 
old woman was full of strange stories of the countryside. She had 
felt beforehand and predicted the coming of the great rainstorm and 
waterspout which fell on the Epynt Hills in the summer of 1854 in 
July, and swept away the Lawrences' house on the Dihonn brook 
near Buiith. She had lived for years at the Holly Bush on the 
northern slope of the Black Mountain and her husband had kept 
school in the Baptist Chapel at Capel y Ffin. 'There are strange 
things about the Black Mountain/ she said, 'but I have travelled the 
hills at all hours, night and day, and never saw anything bad. One 
time I had been working kte at the Pare on the southern side of the 
Mountain down in the dingle and I was coming home pretty late 
in the dark. It was about February or March. As I came over the 
Bwlch y fingel I was singing to keep my courage up, and I was 
singing a hymn out of an old book for I thought I wouldn't sing 
anything but what was good then. It was a fine starlight night and 
just as I got down into the plain I heard beautiful singing overhead, 
like the singing of birds. They seemed to be some great birds 
travelling. I could not see them but. they sang and whistled most 
beautiful, and they were just overhead. They seemed to be going 
away down the mountain towards Caedwgan. And I said to myself, 
"God bless me from here, there will be a funeral from that house", 
and sure enough within a month a dead person was carried out from 

I sat up till after midnight to watch the Old Year out and the New 
Year in. The bells rang at intervals all the evening, tolled just before 
the turn of the night and the year and then rang a joy peal, and rang 
on till one o'clock. After I had gone to bed I saw from where I lay 
a bright blaze sprung up in the fields beyond the river and I knew 
at once that they were keeping up tie old custom of Biirning the 



New Year's Day 

fa the lane between Great and Little Fine Street I met James 
Davies, my churchwarden. He took off his hat with a profound 
and courteous bow and 'the compliments of the season* and turning 
conducted me to his house where I saw his wife and daughter Jane 
and grandniece. They were all most kind and courteous. 'I should 
not tike to insult you, Sir, this morning/ said the handsome grey- 
haired grey-eyed churchwarden, 'but will you drink a glass of my 
home-made cider?' So I did and drank their healths all round, while 
he signed the paper declaring that I had read the 39 Articles and the 
Declaration of Assent thereunto. 

Wednesday ; 2 January 

A thick dark mild morning with a Scotch mist. Showed my father 
round the garden and over the Church. He was much pleased with 
everything. The house and garden were much larger and more 
beautiful than he had supposed. Both he and my mother are de- 
lighted with the pkce. My Father especially admired the old Nor- 
man I2th or 1 3th century work in the Church and more particularly 
the South doorway arch and the carving over the Devil's Door (the 
North door). 

Friday, 4 January 

In the Standard yesterday there was a leading article on the election 
of John Henry Newman to an honorary fellowship at Trinity 
College, Oxford, which interested my dear Father much. He re- 
members Newman well at Oriel. He told me that some years after 
he had left Oxford, Uncle Francis, who had letters of introduction 
to Newman, called upon him when he was Vicar of St. Mary's. He 
spoke to Newman about my Father. 1 remember him well/ said 
Newman, 'he left a fragrant memory behind him in Oriel/ 

Saturday, $ January 

Speaking of the blowing of the Holy Tliorn and the kneeling 
and weeping of the oxen on old Christmas Eve (to-night) Priscilla 
said, 1 have known old James Meredith 40 years and I have never 
known him far from the truth, and I said to him one day, "James, 
tell me the truth, did you ever see the oxen kneel on old Christmas 
Eve at the Weston?" And he said, "No, 1 never saw them kneel at 



the Western but when I was at Hinton at Staunton-on-Wye I sav; 
them. I was watching them on old Christmas Eve and at 12 o'clock 
the oxen that were standing knelt down upon their knees and those 
that were lying down rose up on their knees and there they stayed 
kneeling and moaning, the tears running down their faces." ' 

Monday, 7 January 

I went to the little farmhouse of Dolfach on the hill to see the 
Holy Thorn there in blossom. The tree (a graft from the old Holy 
Thorn at Tibberton now cut down) bloomed on old Christmas 
Eve and there were 15 people watching round the tree to see it blow 
at midnight. I found old John Perry sitting at tea by the cheerful 
firelight in the chimney corner. His kind daughter gave me a bit 
of a spray of the Holy Thorn which was gathered from the tree at 
midnight, old Christmas Eve. She set great store by the spray and 
always gathered and kept a bit each year. The blossoms were not 
fully out and the leaves were scarcely unfolded but the daughter of 
the house assured me that the little white bud clusters would soon 
come out into full blow if put hi soft water. 

Saturday, 19 January 

I am glad to hear that Ettie Meredith Brown is to be married in 
April to Mr. Wright, the brother of her brother-in-law. 

Tuesday, 29 January 

Mary Matthews had just come from Dowlais. She said the distress 
there was terrible and pitiful, the people perishing of hunger and the 
distress in Merthyr worse than at Dowlais. 

Tuesday, 5 February 

To-day was the Tithe audit and tithe dinner to the farmers, both 
held at the Vicarage. About 50 tithe payers came, most of them 
very small holders, some paying as little as pd. As soon as they had 
paid their tithe to Mr. Heywood in the front hall they retired into 
the back hall and regaled themselves with bread, cheese and beer, 
some of them eating and drinking the value of the tithe they had 
paid. The tithe-paying began about 3 p.m. and the stream went 
on till six. At 7 1 sat down to dinner with the farmers. 

The Pen Pistyll turkey boiled looked very noble when it came to 
table. At the foot of the table there was roast beef, and at the sides 
jugged hare and beefsteak pie, preceded by pea soup, and in due 
course followed by plum pudding, apple tart, mince pies and blanc- 


mange, cheese and dessert. It was a very nice dinner, thanks to 
Dora, and I think they all liked it and enjoyed themselves. 

Thursday, 14 February 

To-day I went for the first time into the kitchen garden on the 
Brobury side of die river. There were some old Espalier pears and 
apples and some young peach, nectarine and apricot trees against 
the walls, and one fine fig tree. The garden frames were in a very 
ruinous state. 

Friday, 15 February 

A day indoors nursing a bad cold and troublesome cough. Read 
The Marquis ofLossie, the sequel of Malcolm, by George Macdonald, 
but inferior to it, I think. 

Arthur went to Staunton in the evening to fetch a bottle of cough 
mixture for me from Mr. Giles. It was a beautiful moonlit night 
and from my bedroom window I could see the moonbeams shining 
in the basin of the fountain on the lawn and broken shattering as 
the water was stirred into little waves by the night breeze. The 
white house was bathed in a flood of brilliant moonlight, a strange 
weird contrast to the black solemn cedars. 

Saturday, 16 February 

Another day indoors nursing against Sunday. A lovely spring 
day, bright and warm and joyous with birdsinging. The crocuses 
are beginning to appear in the garden and in the churchyard some 
of the graves are white and beautiful with snowdrops. Emily 
walked to Staunton to get another bottle of medicine for me from 
Mr. Giles. It was a beautiful warm moonlit evening. Looking from 
my bedroom window I saw the moon shining in the river which 
was streaming as with flakes of fire under the black cedars. 

Tuesday, 26 February 

At 10 a.m. went on the box of Miss Newton's brougham to the 
reopening of Mansel Grange Church after a good restoration. 
More than 25 clergy in surplices. The Bishop preached in the morn- 
ing, the Archdeacon, Lord Saye and Sele, in the afternoon. It was 
difficult to say which was the worse sermon. The former was a 
screed, the latter a rigmarole, but the rigmarole was more appro- 
priate and more to the purpose than the screed. A nice luncheon 
at the Stanhopes' at Byford Rectory. I was with a small party at a 
table in the study at which Miss Stanhope presided. The large 


party was in tlie dining room. Good congregations and the offer- 
tories amounted to nearly ^50 and cleared off the debt on the 
Church. The weather dry and the roads good, a satisfactory day. 
Many people laugh at the old Baron's sermons, but the cottagers 
like them for he is plain and homely and speaks of names and pkces 
that they know. When Moccas Church was restored and reopened 
Lord Saye and Sele preached in the afternoon and told the people 
that Moccas was so called from 'the badgers which came down to 
the river to eat the fish'. It is supposed he meant otters, and that he 
had in some strange confused way Sixed up together otters, badgers 
and pigs, for Moccas is so called from the swine (Welsh Mock) which 
used to feed on the acorns in the great ak forest. 

Saturday, 2 March 

A bright lovely Spring day. 

I went down the green lane between the orchards and through a 
gate which brought me under the gable of a small farmhouse 
picturesquely placed among orchards and crofts on the green hillside 
sheltered from the west winds, and looking towards the rising sun. 
A few steps brought me round to the front of the house. In the 
door stood a tall fair comely girl with a clear fresh open face, kind 
grey eyes, and golden brown hair, Annie Abberley . She welcomed 
me in kindly and set a chair by the fire. She was expecting her 
father in to his dinner, she said. Annie said she had been house and 
parlourmaid at Pont Vaen when I was at Clyro. And now she 
keeps her father's at the Upper Cwm. 'It is a wonderful place for 
birds,' she said, 'the cuckoo sings here all night long. And only the 
other night I heard a blackbird keep on waking up and whistling 
through the night. Sometimes when I have [been] up and out 
early, starting father for Hereford at daylight, I have stood out in 
the orchards listening to the singing of the birds. On a clear day we 
can see the steeple of All Saints' Church in Hereford, there I can see 
it now through that apple bough against the far blue hill/ We were 
standing out in the fold. It is a very quiet place here', Annie went 
on, *and we don't see many people passing, but it is very peaceful 
and a pleasant prospect-, and I like to be amongst the fields and 
orchards and to hear the singing of the birds and we are content.' 
'How wise/ I thought, and said, 'to be content and happy with the 
beauties and the blessings that lie around/ The father who had been 


looking after his lambs now came in to his dinner, a swarthy 
peculiar-looking man in a smock frock. As we stood at the door 
talking a voice floated up from the Lower Cwm through the even- 
ing air singing the Canadian Boat Song. 

Quinquagesima Sunday, 3 March 

As I walked in the Churchyard this morning the fresh sweet 
sunny air was full of the singing of the birds and the brightness and 
gladness of the Spring. Some o&the graves were as white as snow 
with snowdrops. The southern side of the Churchyard was crowded 
with a multitude of tombstones. They stood thick together, some 
taller, some shorter, some looking over the shoulders of others, and 
as they stood up all looldng one way and facing the morning sun 
they looked like a crowqpbf men, and it seemed as if the morning 
of the Resurrection had come and the sleepers had arisen from their 
graves and were standing upon their feet silent and solemn, all look- 
ing toward the East to meet the Rising of the Sun. The whole air 
was melodious with the distant indefinite sound of sweet bells that 
seemed to be ringing from every quarter by turns, now from the 
Ml, now from the valley, now from the deer forest, now from the 
river. The chimes rose and fell, swelled and grew faint again. 

{Kilvert leaves for Langley Burrell.] 

Tuesday, 5 March 

Spencer came to see me and said I had congestion of the lungs. 
Indoors all day nursing myself. This evening I was worse than I 
have been at afl and could hardly draw breath from the tightness of 
the chest. 

Friday, 8 March 

Letters from Bredwardine. My Father seems to have managed 
very well at Brobury Church on Ash Wednesday evening. Dora 
says sher walked with him to Crafta Webb and they visited John 
Williams (Jack my Lord). When the old man saw my Father he 
turned up his eyes and ejaculated devoutly, *My blessed God, is it his 

To-day we got back into the dining room to our great comfort. 
Tie room has been recarpeted with a square new handsome 
bordered Brussels. The old oilcloth has been taken up and the 
boards round the carpet stained and varnished. 


Saturday, 9 March 

I went out for a little while on the terrace this morning and 
walked up and down on the sunny side of the house. After how 
many illnesses such as this have I taken my first convalescent walk 
on the sunny terrace and always at this time of year when the honey, 
suckle leaves were shooting green and the apricot blossoms were 
dawning and the daffodils in blow. But some day will come the kst 
illness from which there will be no convalescence and after which 
there will be no going out to enjoy the sweet sights and sounds of 
the earthly spring, the singing of the birds, the opening of the fruit 
blossoms, the budding dawn of green leaves, and the blowing of the 
March daffodils. May then be prepared to enter into the everlast- 
ing Spring and to walk among the birds and flowers of Paradise. 

First Sunday in Lent, 10 March 

I went to Church in a fly with Mary who rode in great state and 
pride. The morning sun was shining fair and bright as we walked 
up the path to the Church. There was a sweet stillness and Sunday 
peace upon everything. Multitudes of daffodils grew about the 
Church, shining in the bright spring sunlight. I never saw daffodils 
in such numbers or so beautiful. They grew in forests, multitudes 
and multitudes, about the park and under the great elms, most of 
them in full blossom. As we went in we saw fresh groups of daffo- 
dils under the trees, golden gleam after golden gleam in the sweet 
sunshine. It was quite dazzling. 

Monday, n March 

To-day I wrote to Mr. C. T. Longman, to whom I had received 
an introduction from Mrs. Middleton Evans of Llwynbarried, to 
ask him if and on what terms he would publish a small book of 
poems for me. 

Friday, 15 March 

This morning came a letter from Mr. Longman, very courteous 
but not encouraging the idea of my publishing a book of poems. 
[Kilvert returns to Bredwardiae.] 

Tuesday, 26 March 

Called at the Bridge Gate house on the Merediths. Mrs. Meredith 
told me she had seen better days. She once kept the Monmouth 
Gap Hotel and a coaching establishment of 18 horses, 16 of which 


died of influenza at one time. Then her husband died and she moved 
with her 5 children to the shop opposite the hotel, and brought them 
up. Her second husband was a small timber merchant who was 
ruined by the failure of a man in the same business. Now they have 
come down to keep a turnpike gate. 

This evening while we were at prayers and singing the hymn 'My 
God, my Father while I stray' Dora suddenly fell on the floor in a 
feinting fit. I thought she had only overbalanced herself, slipped and 
fallen against Florence who was looking over her hymn book, but 
Louisa rushed forward crying, 'She's fainting, Sir!' and helped me 
to raise her and lay her back in an easy chair while Arthur stood 
aghast. I called to Emily to run for cold water. Dora soon came 
round again and drank a glass of sherry. She said she had never 
quite lost consciousness. She had been singing a good deal and her 
dress was tight and the east wind made her feel ill and she caught her 
breath and could not get it again. 

Saturday, 30 March 

Indoors all day with a bad headache and fresh cold and greater 
tightness of chest. Charles and Tom Palmer walked over from 
Eardisley to see me. The day was bitterly cold with a cruel E. 
wind and whilst they were here a wild snowstorm came on. 

Tuesday, April Morrow 

I had long wished to pay a visit to Maurice Richards the wood- 
man's cottage in the wood and as to-day was fine and drying I 
determined to go. After dinner I climbed up by the Clerk's house to 
Mary Jackson's and found her alone and ill with a bad cold and very 
poor and destitute and lonely. I filled up her application for relief 
to the next Jarvis Charity meeting, and she told me of the death of 
her young daughter by consumption and her husband's agonizing 
but happy death from internal cancer, the result of an old wound, a 
log of timber having fallen upon his back in the sawpit where he 
was under-sawyer when a young man. 

Mary Jackson showed me my way over the wattled ^ stiles and 
along the bankside, through the wood to the woodman's cottage. 
It was a beautiful afternoon, die larches in the sheltered hollows 
were thickening green and waving their first tender green feathers 
and the woods were full of the singing of birds. As I went through 


the wood I heard a sudden sharp rustling and struggling amongst 
the dry leaves and sticks and then some animal began to scream 
violently. A little chestnut-coloured creature was darting and 
struggling about upon the ground with such furious vehemence 
and extraordinary rapidity that I could not for some time make out 
what it v/as. The animal had evidently been caught in a trap by the 
hind leg. At first I thought from its bushy tail that it was a squirrel. 
Finding that it could not free its leg from the teeth of the powerful 
gin the little creature after darting about and struggling with the 
most inconceivable swiftness and furious violence, turned like a wild 
beast at bay and faced me like a lion with its eyes flaming with fury 
and its lips drawn savagely so as to bare its teeth. It was a beautiful 
and graceful little creature with a bushy tail, a body arched like a 
greyhound, glossy chestnut fur on the back and sides and underneath 
a pale delicate yellow. I think it was a stoat. I could not help but 
admire the courage of the little creature and the steadiness and fierce- 
ness with which he gazed at me. Then he turned with pathetic 
curiosity and concern to look at the trap and his imprisoned and 
wounded leg, and fearing that the leg might be broken or that he 
might be left there to die of hunger, with one blow on the back of 
the head I put him out of his fear and pain. 

I went on to Maurice Richards' cottage seated in a pleasant nook 
in the wooded hillside looking towards the rising sun and 'towards 
Lady Lift' as Mrs. Richards said. Her kindly pleasant comely face 
carried me back to Clyro and reminded me strongly of Mrs. Vaughan 
the shoemaker's wife and widow. The garden was in the most 
exquisitely neat order and the house beautifully clean. I took a great 
fancy to the place and the people. 

Thursday, 4 April 

Lady Cornewall called and kindly brought me another bottle of 
the Syrup of Hypophosphate of lime. 

Easter Day, 21 April 

I took the 3 full services. There were 20 guests at the H.C., the 
largest number I have yet seen in Bredwardine. Alms iS/pJ. Good 
congregations at all 3 services. I was very thankful to be able to do 
it all myself without troubling anyone. My voice was stronger and 
clearer to-day than it has been at all since my illness. 

I87 83 ST HARMON'S 33 , 

Friday, 26 April 

To St. Harmon's by 9.10 train to marry David Powell and 
Maggie Jones of Tylare. Mrs. Jones of the Gates had made a trium- 
phal arch of moss over the Churchyard gate and flowers were strewn 
in the bride's path. Maggie was surprised and delighted to see and 
be married by her old friend. Fog signals were laid on the line and 
the wedding party issued from Church just as the noon train came 
down with the banging of crackers and guns and a great crowd at 
the station crossing gates. The wedding party and guests went to 
the Sun where I joined them for a minute to drink a glass of wine 
to the health of the bride and bridegroom and then walked on to 
Cwm yr ychen. Is the bride in the family way?' asked her grand- 
mother, old Mary Jones, with eager interest. 'I hope not,' I said. 

' 'Tis a pity but what you had stayed here/ sighed the clerk deeply 
as I carved for him at dinner. 

Saturday, 27 April 
Neuralgia very troublesome all the week, no sleep at nights. 

Friday, 3 May 

After breakfast I went to Lyncam and engaged Morgan's house- 
keeper, Mrs. Price, as our housekeeper at Bredwardine Vicarage. 
She is to have ^14 a year to begin and to come to us Monday, 
May 13. Old May Day. She has been having .12 a year from 
Morgan, who gives her an excellent character. 

Saturday, 4 May 
Left Llysdinam by 12.30 train and returned to Bredwardine. 

4th Sunday after Easter, '19 May 

Yesterday a new wire bird door (the gift of Miss Newton) was 
hung at the main door. We have been much troubled by the birds 
in the Church lately, and have been obliged to close the painted 
East window to keep out the swallows who were darting in and out 
with mud and building a nest against the wall just over the altar. I 
was sorry to interfere with them, but it was necessary for they were 
scattering mud all over the place. 

Tuesday, 21 May 

Finer. Sir George Cornewall sent me ^13.10 towards the repair 
of Bredwardine Church Tower, very handsome. 

33 2 KILVERT'S DIARY [j M { y 

Monday, 27 May 

Showery. Sent Shoolbred and Co. a cheque for .50 on account 
of a bill of ,230.9.6 for furniture. 

Monday, 3 June 

A calm bright dewy heavenly morning, very peaceful soft and 
warm, with die sun veiled tenderly. I went out early and walked 
in the lower garden amongst the dewy roses by the river. James 
Meredith came down from Prospect between 7 and 8 with a nose- 
gay of sweet white stocks for the wedding. The people are very 
kind, thoughtful and take much interest in the affair. At 10.45 we 
set off for Kinnersley Station. We had a comfortable journey and 
saw my Father, Mother and Fanny at Paddington. My Father and 
Mother went to St. Barnabas Vicarage, Kensington, to stay with 
the Hesseys; Thersie and Dora to stay with Eunice at Dilston House> 
Upper Norwood; Fanny, Teddy and I to Norris' Hotel, Kensington. 

Tuesday, 4 June 

To-day Teddy was married to Nellie Pitcairn at St. Barnabas 
Church, Kensington. Teddy and I (his groomsman) left Norris' 
hotel at 9.30 and drove to 13 Colville Terrace where the brothers 
Pitcairn have rooms and where the breakfast was given. He dressed 
there and we drove down to St. Barnabas Vicarage. Wedding at 
11.15. My Father performed the ceremony, assisted by Dr. F. 
Hessey . The fees were enormous, j 3 . 3 . After the wedding we drove 
to 13 Colville Terrace where there was a merry breakfast. At 2 the 
bride and bridegroom left for Ryde or ShanHin. A pretty happy 
wedding and for the first time for many years we were all together 
as a family again. 

Thursday, 20 June 

In the morning I weeded the raspberry bed in the lower garden. 
Afternoon walked to a garden party at Eardisley Vicarage. A very 
pleasant evening. Palmer took me aside as soon as I came in and 
offered me from Canon Walsham How the permanent Chaplaincy 
at Cannes. He thought it might perhaps be desirable to accept it on 
account of my health. 

Friday, 21 June 

The longest day. Wrote to my Father, Mr. Venables, Spencer 
and Canon Walsham How about the Cannes Chaplaincy. The 


weather very sultry. The Royal Artillery were firing on the Black 
Mountain. I took it for thunder. 

Saturday, 22 June 

A fine summer's day. Very hot. Walked to Monnington to 
luncheon. On the way called on Miss Cornewall who has lately 
come back from Cannes to ask her information about the place. 
She was very kind and told me much. She said she thought the 
Chaplaincy must be a very delightful position. Mr. Giles came in to 
see one of the servants. I asked Si ought to go to Cannes on account 
of my health. He said, 'Go by all means. It is the very place. It may 
prolong your life for some years/ 

Monday, 24 June, Midsummer Day 

Weather fine and hot. Corresponding and thinking with some 
perplexity about the offer of the Cannes Chaplaincy. 

Thursday, 27 June 

Wrote to Palmer and Walsham How to decline the Cannes 
Chaplaincy, and wrote to my Father, the Venables, Miss Higginson 
and Miss Cornewall, announcing my decision. 

Friday, 12 July 

I called on Mrs. Godsall to see her daughter (the wife of Lord 
Lyons' coachman or stud groom) and the 4 grandchildren, 2 girls 
and 2 boys, lately come from Paris on a visit to their grandparents. 
The coachman's wife told me that her husband drove Lord Lyons 
into Paris from Versailles on the last day of the Commune troubles. 
The firing was still going on in the streets and he could hardly drive 
the carriage for the dead bodies. 

Monday, is July 

At 5.15 my Father and Mother arrived from Langley, driven by 
Barnes of Moorhampton in a waggonette drawn by a stout grey cob, 
a lovely evening and fine day for travelling, cloudy and cool in the 
morning. Reading Ruth 1 outside the library window, and watching 
for the travellers to cross the bridge with my opera glass, when I 
heard the carriage coming I jumped up and forgot my glass which 
fell upon the stones and broke. George Phillott came up from 
Moccas in his punt and gave a better account of his father who was 
taken very ill on Friday last. I went down with him in the boat to 
1 Presumably the novel by Mrs. Gaskell. 


Moccas, a lovely voyage with glorious evening lights and shadows 
on the water, indescribably beautiful. Walked back by Dipple 
Wood. My mother and Dora went to the Cottage after supper to 
hear Basil Harwood play the organ. 

Thursday, 18 July 

Hotter and hotter. My Father and I went to Talyllyn to fish in 
Llangorse Lake. About noon we got into a shoal of perch and killed 
5 dozen or more in 2 hours, not large ones. We pulled them out as 
fast as we could put the lines in. 

Thursday, 5 September 

Paid Miss Newton 16/8 for 25 gallons of cider at 8d. a gallon. 
Friday, 6 September 

A lovely autumn day opening with a slight wind and tender mist 
on the river, then ripening into a splendid golden mellow afternoon. 
Visited Priscilla Price and was much interested by her account of 
her reminiscences of the days when George the Fourth was King. 

'When George IV was crowned I was living in London at 31 

Russell Square in service with Squire Atkinson. I remember seeing 

the procession but could not see much for the great crowds of people 

and when I got home safe I would not go out again. Queen Caroline 

went to the Abbey too in Alderman Wood's Carriage. She was 

staying at Alderman Wood's house at the time. The King would 

not let her be crowned with him. They told her at the Abbey door 

that she might come in if she liked to sit in a back seat, but she would 

not do that and drove away again. The soldiers were ordered not 

to touch their hats to her but they all saluted her. That night there 

was a great illumination. All those who took the King's part put 

lights in their windows and those who took the Queen's part put 

none. We did not know what to do but at last we put up lights. 

But when Squire Atkinson came up from Brighton that night he 

told us to take the lights down again, saying he wasn't going to 

light up his house for him. Two great crowds were going about all 

night. One was for the King and the other for the Queen. The 

King's crowd shouted "Lights up !" and the Queen's crowd shouted 

"Lights down!'* One crowd smashed the dark windows and the 

other smashed the lighted windows and people did not know what 

to do. I saw Queen Caroline on a balcony. She came out and made 

her obeisance on every hand. She was nice-looking, to my mind, 


with a pleasant face. I saw the King too but not so plain as the 
Queen. He was riding by in a close carriage. He was a passable 
looking man, but not so well-looking as the Queen. I thought he 
was dressed very old-fashioned in breeches and waistcoast and a wig. 
The King was not very well liked upon. Nine days after the King 
was crowned the Queen died (?). I was washing and stoning the 
steps before the front door one morning when I heard a sound that 
shook the town. I was frightened and ran in thinking something 
dreadful had happened to London, but they told me it was the tolling 
of the great bell at St. Paul's and that one of the Royal Family must 
be dead because the great bell only tolled for them. Then we heard 
that Queen Caroline was dead. There was a great deal of talk at 
that time in London about the quarrel between the King and the 
Queen. There was about six for one and half a dozen for the other. 
Some believed the Queen had done wrong and some didn't. We 
thought the King was too hard upon the Queen and I favoured the 

'It was a terrible day when Queen Caroline was buried. They 
would not let the funeral go by the main streets. It was to go by 
the back streets. But the people blocked up the back streets with 
carriages, carts and coaches and forced the procession to go by the 
great streets. There was a great mob and the funeral could not go 
on. Then there was a disturbance and the soldiers fired upon the 
people. My sister who was living in service at No. 5 Montague 
Street was in the crowd that day and the second woman from her 
was shot. 

1 saw the Princess Charlotte once but I don't remember where it 
was or what she looked like. She was a strip of a girl The King 
would not let her see her mother. But once she escaped and ran out 
into the street and called a hackney coach. "Drive me to Bucking- 
ham House!" she cried. "Drive me to Buckingham House!" and I 
believe she was driven there. 

'I saw the first steamboat that ever was in the Thames pass under 
London Bridge. There used to be a saying that no vessel could pass 
under the middle arch of London Bridge for there was something 
in the water that would suck the vessel in. However, the steamboat 
started from Westminster Bridge with a number of people on board 
and passed through the middle arch of London Bridge and was not 
sucked in.' 


12 th Sunday after Trinity, 8 September 
The anniversary of the sudden death by apoplexy of the Rev. 
John Houseman, late Vicar of Bredwardine and Rectory of 
Brobury. I alluded to this in the morning sermon and also to the 
Sittingbourne railway disaster and the terrible calamity of Tuesday 
last on the Thames near Woolwich when the Princess Alice, excur- 
sion steamboat, was run down by the Bywell Castle, screw collier, 
and more than 700 people drowned. 

Monday, 9 September 

I had a serious talk with Ellen Lewis of the turnpike gate house. 
She is in great distress and very anxious about herself. She was 
much terrified by the heavy thunderstorm of Saturday night last. 
She thought the end of the world might be come and feared she was 
not fit to meet it. 

Friday 13 September 

Visited Jack my Lord at Crafta Webb. John told me how he ami 
his family got the nickname of 'Lords' or 'My Lords'. His father 
when a boy worked for old Mrs. Higgins at Middlewood. She was 
displeased with him one day because he would not do something 
that she told him, and said scornfully that she supposed he was as 
great a person as 'My Lord North'. From this simple circumstance 
the nickname of 'Lords' or 'My Lords* has clung to this family for 
3 generations. 

Sunday, 15 September 

Mrs. Jenkins told me that as she was dressing at her window about 
5 a.m. she saw a creature which she thought at first was a calf rush 
madly into the little stable in the fold and then dash out again, hop 
over the stone wall into the brook, and away. About half an hour 
after 2 couple of white hounds and a couple of bloodhounds came 
hunting down the lane with the keepers riding after them and she 
learnt from the keeper (Hicks) that the animal she had taken for a 
calf was a buck. They had ries with them and they had followed 
the deer all night over part of the Black Mountain. The hounds lost 
the scent in the water but struck it again and ran into the buck at 
Upper Castlcton. The deer was taken to Mr. Mcdlicott's farmhouse 
to be cut up and a cart was sent for it from Moccas. Mrs. Jenkins 
said she went into the stable after the buck had bolted from it and 
saw by the hoof marks and the mud which the deer had brought 

1878] THE FLOOD 337 

in with it that the poor hunted creature in its frantic terror and 
attempts to escape and hide itself had climbed up into the manger 
and tried to scramble into the rack, 

Monday, 23 September 

To-day I received a kind letter from Rosie Meredith Brown say- 
ing that Ettie would sail for India on October 5 to be married there. 
I wrote to both of the sisters. 

[Kilvert goes to Langley BurrelL] 

Friday, 25 October 

Went to Bath. Bought 6 pairs of kid gloves at Hampers at 1/6 a 

Wednesday, 30 October 

Left Langley. Fine morning. Afternoon wild and stormy with 
sheets of rain and hail and snow lying on the Black Mountain and 
Radnor hills. 

Monday, n November 

School. Flood falling. So far the second greatest flood of this 
century. Before breakfast I went down to the bridge to sec how the 
Jenkins family were. Soon after I passed last night the river came 
down with a sudden rush and wave and filled the road full of water 
and they had to escape to the trap, carrying their ch Idren on their 
backs, wading through water kneedeep, and leaving 3 feet of water 
in the house, the house also being surrounded by water and the water 
running in at front and back. Mr. Stokes kindly rode down from 
the Old Court to see if they were safe, the water was then up to his 
horse's girths. Many people were flooded out of their houses at 
Letton and Staunton and spent the night on Bredwardine Bridge 
watching the flood. A number of cattle and colts were seen to pass 
under the bridge in the moonlight and it was feared they would be 
drowned. Some women saw a bullock swept down under the 
bridge at noon to-day. Mr. W. Clarke told me that the Whitney 
iron railway bridge was carried away last night by the flood and 2 
miles of line seriously damaged. No trains can run for 3 months, 
during which time the gap will be filled by coaches. 

Monday, 25 November 

Went to stay at Rhayader Vicarage with the Langhames. The 
country all under ice and snow. Walked up to St. Harmon s. 


Went down to the drill Hall at 7.30 to see the Rhayader volunteers 
drill, but the hall was deserted and the volunteers had gone out to 
see or take part in the Rebecca riots, 1 a large party of Rebeccaites 
being out spearing salmon below Rhayader Bridge. We watched the 
spearing from the Bridge, a most picturesque sight. 

Wednesday, 27 November 

I had a letter from Mr. Venables proposing that I should take Sam 
Cowper Coles as a pupit Wrote to Dora on the subject, I think 
I shall take the boy, 13 years old at ^80 a year. 

Advent Sunday. December Day 
Hoarse as a raven. 

Saturday , 7 December 

Indoors aU day with a bad sore throat, very hoarse, deaf, stupefied 
and stunned. Expecting Mr. Giles. He came at evening, and pre- 
scribed tannin and glycerine to paint the interior of the throat. 

2nd Sunday in Advent, 8 December 

Fine and cold in the morning, overcast in the afternoon, glass 
falling and snow threatening. Good congregations. 

In the bright sunny morning the sheep were all dotted white 
about the green slopes across the river. They were all lying down 
almost at even distances from each other. It was a peaceful pastoral 
scene. There is a still green beauty peculiar to a fine winter's morning 
and afternoon which is not seen in summer. 

Monday, 16 December 

The ground very slippery and dangerous. Children sliding on the 
Wye below Bredwardine Bridge where the river is frozen half- 
across. At Moccas Bridge the Wye is frozen entirely over. Snow 
began to fall at 9 a.m. and continued to fall till 2 p.m. 

Tuesday, 17 December 

Sharp frost again last night. The snow clouds cleared off and the 
day became cloudless and blue and brilliant. The bridge in the 
sunshine was most beautiful. We have cut down several of the 
shrubs, evergreen oak, Portugal laurel, and laurustinus under the 

* The Rebecca Riots were caused by a secret society of Welshmen in 1843- Their 
object was to abolish turnpike gates, of which they destroyed many by night. The 
leader of these bands was always dressed as a woman and called Rebecca. See Genesis, 
rnv. 60. 


cedar nearest the house and the laurel garden hedge so as to let in 
more light and a pretty view of the lawn, river and bridge. 

As I went up the steep snowy hill to Bethell I pursued the fast 
retreating and ascending wan sunshine of the still winter afternoon. 
I overtook the sunshine just before I got to the lone house on the 
Weak windy hill top. All the valley and plain lay bathed in a frosty 
rosy golden glow, and just as I got to Cae Perthan the sun was set- 
ting behind the lone level snowy blue-white line of the Black 
Mountain and the last rays Were reddening the walls and chimney 
stack of the solitary cottage. As I came down into the sheltered 
Iiollow of the Lower Cwm in the twilight I heard rising from the 
cottage in the dingle across the brook a woman's voice addressing a 
naughty child and uttering that threatening promise which in this 
form is probably as old as the English language and in some form is 
perhaps as old as the world. Til whip your bottom!' Werebottoms 
so formed that they might be whipped? or why since the founda- 
tion of the world has this part of the human body been universally 
chosen to suffer chastisement? 

Wednesday, 18 December 

Alice of England was buried at Hesse Darmstadt this afternoon. 
Had I known it in time the Bredwardine and Brobury Church bells 
should have been tolled. I regret much that this mark of respect to 
the memory of our dear Alice should have been inadvertently and 
unintentionally omitted. 

Friday, 20 December 

Hard frost. I reached the school with great difficulty owing to 
the icy state of the roads especially on the hillside. Called at the 
Cottage. Miss Newton has given a text to Bredwardine Church for 
Christmas and an I.H.S. banner to Brobury. Advent service in 
Bredwardine Church at 7 p.m. Sir George Cornewall walked over 
from Moccas to preach, coming through the field and supporting 
himself in the slippery places with a spud walking stick. Between 
30 and 40 people in Church which we thought a fair congregation 
considering the weather and icy roads. 

Saturday, 21 December 

St. Thomas' Day. Hard frost. Roads icy, many accidents to man 
and horse from slipping and falling. Called on Mrs. Williams who 


said her children were out 'slithering . Climbed up the steep icy 
bank to Godsalls with great difficulty. There I found a son come 
home from Canada with his wife. He seemed weak and ill, but very 
pleasant and intelligent. He had been in Hamilton, knew a good 
deal about Francis Edwin Kilvert, now Mayor and Member for 
Hamilton, and was interested to know that he was my first cousin. 
He had recognized the name. He had often seen Sir John Mac- 
donald. I told him that Lady Macdonald was a playfellow of mine. 
He gave me much interesting information about the Indian tribes 
and free traders and political parties in the Dominion. 

Monday, 23 December 

Very hard frost. The Wye froze across below Bredwardine 
Bridge between the Vicarage garden and the Brobury Shore. It has 
been frozen over and the ice passable for some time at Moccas. 
Visited Priscilla Price and took her a pudding and some mincepies for 
Christmas. Snow deep on the hill. 

Tuesday, 24 December, Christmas Eve 

Very hard frost. Brilliant sunshine on sparkling snow. After 
breakfast I went to the Old Weston to see the poor Davieses and 
comfort them concerning their child. On the road I met David 
Davies the father, the shepherd at the Weston, on his way to the 
village to order the coffin and to the Churchyard to mark out the 
ground for the grave. He told me it was not Andrew as I had been 
informed and supposed, but little Davie who was dead. The father 
seemed greatly distressed and indignant because he thought the child's 
life had been thrown away by some mistake of the doctor. I went 
on to the house of mourning. Margaret Davies seemed very glad to 
see me and her humble gratitude for my visit was most touching. 
She took me upstairs into the room where the dead child was lying 
on the bed and turned down the sheet from his face. I never saw 
death look so beautiful. There was no bandage round the chin. The 
pretty innocent child face looked as peaceful and natural as if the 
child were asleep and the dark curls ky upon the little pillow. I 
could hardly believe he was dead. Leaving the face still uncovered 
the poor mother knelt with me by the little bedside while I prayed 
for them all. She was deeply touched and most humbly grateful. 
Before I left the room I stooped and kissed the child's forehead, and 

1878] LITTLE DAVIE 341 

the mother did the same. It was as cold and as hard as marble. This 
is always a fresh surprise. I had not touched death for more than 30 
years, and it brought back the sudden shock that I felt when as a 
child I was taken into a room at Hardenhuish Rectory where our 
little sister lay dead and was told to touch her hand. 

Margaret Davies told me that before Little Davies died he saw a 
number of people and some pretty children dancing in a beautiful 
garden and heard some sweet music. Then someone seems to have 
called him for he answered, 'What do you want with me?' He also 
saw beautiful birds, and the men of the Weston (who carried him to 
his funeral). He thought his little sister Margaret was throwing ice 
and snow on him. (The snow fell on the coffin at the burial). On 
the road I overtook Miss Stokes and went into the Old Court 
with her but before Kate could come and speak to me my nose began 
to bleed and I was obliged to fly. 

Wednesday. Christmas Day 

Very hard frost last night. At Presteign the thermometer fell to 
2 degrees, showing 30 degrees of frost. At Monnington it fell to 4. 
Last night is said to have been the coldest night for 100 years. The 
windows of the house and Church were so thick with frost rime 
that we could not see out. We could not look through the Church 
windows all day. Snow lay on the ground and the day was dark 
and gloomy with a murky sky. A fair morning congregation con- 
sidering the weather. By Miss Newton's special desire Dora and I 
went to the Cottage to eat our Christinas dinner at 1.30 immediately 
after service. 

Immediately after dinner I had to go back to the church for the 
funeral of little Davie of the Old Weston who died on Monday was 
fixed for 2.15. The weather was dreadful, the snow driving in 
blinding clouds and the walking tiresome. Yet the funeral was only 
20 minutes late. The Welcome Home, as it chimed softly and slowly 
to greet the little pilgrim coming to his rest, sounded bleared and 
muffled through the thick snowy air. The snow fell thickly all 
through the funeral service and at the service by the grave a kind 
woman offered her umbrella which a kind young fellow came and 
Held over my head. The woman and man were Mrs. Richards and 
William Jackson. I asked the poor mourners to come in and rest and 
warm themselves but they would not and went into Church. The 


poor father, David Davies the shepherd, was crying bitterly for die 
loss of his little lamb, Owing to the funeral it was rather late before 
we began the afternoon service, There were very few people in 
Church beside the mourners, The afternoon was very dark. I was 
obliged to move close to the great south window to read the Lessons 
and could hardly see even then. I preached from Luke ii, 7, there 
was no room for them in the inn/ and connected the little bed in tie 
churchyard in which we had kid Davie to rest with the manger 
cradle at Bethlehem. 

In spite of the heavy and deep snow there was a fair congregation 
at Brobury Church. I walked there with Powell. The water was 
out in Brobury lane. As we came back a thaw had set in and rain 
fell. By Miss Newton s special wish I went to the Cottage'and spent 
the evening with Dora. The Cottage servants had invited the Vicar- 
age servants to tea and supper and they came into the drawing room 
after supper and sang some Christmas Carols. 

y, 29 December 

Sudden thaw and break up of the frozen river. Huge masses and 
floes of ice have been coming down the river all day rearing, crush- 
ing, grinding against each other, and thundering against the bridge, 
A crowd of people were on the bridge looking over the parapet and 
watching the ice pass through the arches. The ground very slippery 
and dangerous, people walking along the ditches and going on al 
fours up Bredwardine Hill and across the Lion Square. Emma Jones' 
mother came all the way from Dorstone to Bredwardine in the 
ditches. Price was obliged to go up the hill from the Cottage to his 
house on all fours and Jane Davies of Fine Street confessed to Dora 
that she had to crawl on the ice across the Lion Square on her haads 
and knees. 

It was very slippery and dangerous as I went to Brobury, Coming 
back the water was out across the lane and giving Clara Powell my 
lantern to hold I carried her in my arms across the water. 


New Years Day 

I sat up last night to watch the old year out and the new year in. 
The Church bells rang at intervals all last night and all to-day. At 6 
I went to Crafta Webb to begin my cottage lectures there, It was 
raining fast when I started, but when I got as far as the Common I 
noticed that the ground was white. At first I thought it was moon- 
light. Then I saw it was snow. At Crafta "Webb the snowstorm was 
blinding and stifling, and I passed by Preece's cottage where I was 
going to hold the lecture without seeing it in the thickness of the 
driving snow. Before the lecture I went in to see old John Williams. 
On opening the door I was confronted by the motionless silent figure 
of a person veiled and wearing a conical cap which I presently dis- 
covered to be a dead pig hanging up by its snout. John Williams 
deplored my being out in such a night and said it was not fit for me. 
There were not many people at the service but the usual faithful few. 
When I came back the storm was worse and so thick and driving 
that I was gkd I was between hedges and not out on the open hill. 
The young people at the servants* party seemed to be enjoying 
themselves with dancing and singing. After supper they came into 
the dining room to sing to me each with a comical cap out of a 
cracker on her head. Then there was a snapdragon and they went 
away about 10.30. 

Friday, 10 January 

I reached home at 5 o'clock just before my first pupil Sam 
Cowper Coles came in Baynham's trap from Kinnersley Station. 
He came from 98 Queen's Gate from the Evan Thomases to-day 
and slept there last night and came up from the Isle of Wight 
(Newstead, Shanklin) yesterday. 

Saturday , n January 

Took Sam for a walk up Bredwardine Hill in the afternoon. 
Carried Priscilla Price a puc&ing, etc. Went on to the Old House 
and saw Thomas Davies. Speaking of the necessity of renting land 
acording to his capital the old farmer said, 'I couldn't cut rumps of 
beef out of mouse's legs'. 

We called at James Meredith's. Jane took a great fancy to Sam. 



'You are a beauty/ she said. 'You are the prettiest young gentleman 
out. Don't you think so?' 'No/ said Sam. 'I do/ said Jane. 

We found the snow very deep ha places and almost impassable. 
The sky looked black, heavy and full of snow. 

Tuesday, 14 January 

Last night the river rose rapidly and at midnight the ice was rush- 
ing down in vast masses, roaring, cracking and thundering against 
the bridge like the rolling of a hundred waggons. By morning 
the river had sunk and left huge piles of ice stranded on the banks. 

Friday, 17 January 

I think Sam is getting on with his reading and writing which were 
very bad. His arithmetic is his strongest point. He is very back- 
ward and ignorant. 

Saturday, 18 January 

Fine afternoon. Walked with Sam to Crafta Webb. Visited Jack 
my Lord, Betty Matthews, Samuel and Anne Williams. AH the 
people take a great fancy to Sam and his fair pink and white face and 
Hght hair. Betty Matthews made a great piece of work over him 
and his fair head. 'Dear little fellow!' and Jack my Lord asked if he 
was a parson and if he was my brother. 

Tuesday, 21 January 

Very cold with bitter E. wind and hard frost. Visited Carver and 
Davies of the Old House. William Davies of Llanafan came in. The 
father and son were telling me of the games and sports, the fights 
and merriments, that went on in old times upon Bredwardine Knap. 
'What kind of games?' I asked. 1 wouldn t suggest/ said William 
Davies, 'that they were of any spiritual good*. 

Tuesday, 4 February 

At 7 p.m. the farmers came to dine at the Vicarage. I had ten 
guests, Haywood, Evans, Stokes, Preece, Price, Parry, Bates, James 
Griffiths, James and Tom Davies. The dinner was very nice. White 
soup, roast beef, boiled chickens and ham, curried rabbit, stewed 
woodpigeons, beef-steak pie, potatoes and stewed celery, plum 
pudding, custard, plum tart, mince pies, apricot jam tart. 

Friday, 7 February 

The birds are beginning to sing again by the river after the hard 
frost and the long winter. 


Septuagesima, 9 February 
The first snowdrops appeared in the Churchyard. 

Tuesday, II February 

Hay Castle. Dinner at 6. At 745 the omnibus took us all to the 
Volunteer concert at the Drill Hall. News came to-day of the 
terrible disaster inflicted by the Zulus on the 24th Regiment at 
Rorke's Drift, S. Africa. Col. Thomas much affected by the news 
and obliged to leave the concert room. He knew the officers 
intimately when the 24th were quartered lately at Brecon. 

Wednesday ', 12 February 

A lovely morning and a heavenly blue day. After lunch Bishop 
drove me home. A pleasant sunny drive but the roads very bad 
from the frost. The frost had cracked the parapet of Merbach 
Bridge from top to bottom. Stopped at Meredith's at Traveller's 
Rest and ordered a 27 Ib. tub of salt butter. 

Thursday, 28 February, March Eve 

Walking in the garden in the evening I discovered that the 
intense frost of last month had caused a slip and settlement of the 
rail on the terrace walk and caused the wall supporting the terrace 
to bulge dangerously. A large slice of the Vicarage river bank just 
below the hydraulic ram has slipped into the river, the churchyard 
wall has bulged, Brobury Churchyard wall has been thrown down 
by the frost, the walls all over the place have been strained and shaken, 
the plaster is peeling and shelling off the house and conservatory, 
and the steps from the upper to the lower garden are hi ruins. This 
is the work of the frost of 1878-1879. 

Tuesday, 4 March 

A large box came from Langley from my dear Mother full of all 
sorts of good things, something for everyone, even arrowroot for 
the poor people. Sam was much pleased to be remembered with 
some candied fruits. 

Wednesday, 12 March 

When I came home from Moccas last night Dora showed me a 
letter she received to-day from James Pitcairn asking her to marry 
him. This took me entirely by surprise, but I foresee that she will do 



Aberedw, 284-5 

Allen family, 37, 41, 43, 49, 50, 51, 53, 147, 


Alone In London, title of book, 13 
'An angel satyr walks these hills', 131 
Archery, 39,43, 50, 55, 141,146, 147, 184, 294 
Arrow, stream, 14, 151, 178 
Ashe family, 107, 1J6, 156, 157, 192,207,208, 

226, 228, 231, 263-4, 268, 269, 270, 278-9, 


Austin, Mr. and Mrs., 243-4, 296, 297 
Awdry family, 98-9, 100, 101, 139, 202, 206, 


BABOON at Maesllweh Castle, 194 

Bagpipes, 134, 183 

Banks, Mrs., 205, 229, 269 

Banns, mistake in, 122 

Baptists, 121, 135 

Barnes, William, the Dorset poet, 239-43 

BaskervilJe family, 14,28, 41, 43, 75, 141,183, 


Bath, 167, 226-7, 244, 296, 337 
Bathing, 197, 199, 221, 249-50, 290 
Battledore and shuttlecock, 89 
Beating the Bounds, Oxford, 314-16 
Beavan, Squire, 109, 122, 151 
Bees, 38, 55-6 
Beggars, 134, 213 
Bell-ringing, 40 
Bethnal Green Museum, 212 
Bettws, 8, 29, 98, 133, 144, 167, 195, 196, 258 
Sevan family, 8, 45, 49, 50, 54, 74, 89, 133, 

145, 146, 152, 162, 163, 174, 196,223-4,237 
Biddulph, Sir Thomas, 103, 106 
'Bigglesy-buggles', 192 
Bird's Nest, 9, 51, 78, 133, 167, 258 
Black Mountains, 11,49, 112, 164, 167-8 
Boatside, 39, 42, 149 
Bold, Mr., the magistrate. 1 10-11 
Bold, Mrs. 117 
Boscawen, William, 294-5 
Bottoms, their raison rfV/re, 339 7, 171,260 
Bourchier, George and Anne, 233, 264 
Bo wen, Mrs., 9, 133 
Brandy, an odd use for, 275 
Bredwardine, S9, 174, 331, 338, 321-7, 330, 


Brewer, Mr., coachman, 10, U, 39, 41 
Bridge family, 7, 44, 53, 74, 80, 162, 197 
Brilley, 88, 149 
Brilley Rhydspence Inn, 149 
Bristol, 247, 261, 271, 297 
Britten, Carrie and Hannah, 138, 159 
Brobury, 327, 339, 342, 345 
Bron, 15.26,40,52,148, 168 
Bron Ddu, 168, 170 
Bronith, 9, 77, 80, 84, 168, 175, 216 
Brothering Monday, 113 
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 13 
Browning, Robert, 304 
Bryant, John, 38, 68, 156, 246, 268, 273, 280 
Bryngwyn, 12, 15, 82, 83, 108, 117 
Buck, story of a, 336-7 - 
Bums, Robert, poet, 119, 175, 219,233 

CABALVA, 16, 149, 168, 175, 177, 214 216 

Cader Idris, 10, 124-9 

Cae Mawr, 9, 12, 14, 20, 23, 25, 33, 41 47 

1 18, 122, 131, 135, 143-4, 147, 195,216 236 
Canada, 340 ' 

'Capability Brown', 103 
CapelyFfin, 2 1,54, 69-73 
Captain, ship, loss of, 74-5, 77 
Caradoc, Prince, 109 
Caroline, Queen, 334-5 
Castrating lambs, 36 
Cat, a ghostly one, 81, 82 
Cefn y Blaen, 17, 18, 25, 26 
Chaloner, Mrs., 84, 97, 195, 213 
Chapel Dingle, 96, 169, 196, 216 
Chatterton, Thomas, the poet, 261 
Child, Miss, 7, 171 
Children's games, 40-41, 277-8 
Chippenham, 37, 38, 67, 98, 100, 101, 157, 

209, 220, 224, 232, 275, 279, 291-2, 318 
Choimley, Adelaide, 254-5, 257, 261, 262, 


Church Congress, 226-8 
Church music, views on, 268-9 
Church versus Chapel, 170 
Claremont, 103-7 
Claygate, 101-2 

Clergy Daughters' School, Bristol, 247-8, 282 
Clifford Priory, 50, 53, 79, 171, 236 
Clouston, Dr., 154, 162 
Clyro, 7-17, 39-56, 68-91, 96-8, 107-19, 121-3, 

131-76, 183-92, 193-6, 213-17, 236, 237-8, 

258-60, 284, 306-8 
Clyro churchyard, 113-14 
ClyroCourt, 8, 11, 14, 19, 41, 43, 89, 110, 191, 

Gyro Feasts, 82, 83, 84 

Clyro Hill, 12, 16, 23, 34, 175, 214, 236 

Clyro Vale, 82 

Clyro Vicarage. 39, 193 

Corfield family, 42, 132 

Comewall, Sir George, 331, 339 

Cornwall, diarist's visit to, 56-7 

Court Evan Gwynne, 26, 37, 258 

Couzens, John and Alice, 225, 251, 268, 285, 

288, 292 

Cowley, Lord, 100-1, 202 
Crabbe, George, poet, 262 
Crafta Webb, 327, 336, 343, 344 
Crichton family, 8, 40, 41, 50, 53, 74, 114-15, 

Cricket, 51, 253, 278 
Crimean reminiscences, 173, 222 
Croquet, 39, 43, 49, 53, 55-6, 141, 143, 145, 

Coal strike, 211 
Cold feet, cure for, 275 
Coles, Cowper, Captain, 74-5 
Coles, Mrs., 249 
Coles, Sam, 338, 343-5 
Colman, Squire, the diarist's grandfather, 232 
Colva, 11,26, 109 
Concubinage, 24, 37, 39, 132-3 
Confirmation, contretemps at, 19-20 
Cooper, Mr. and Mrs., 35, 40, 75, 76 
Crystal Palace, 185, 250 
Cure for deafness, 83 



Cusop, 19, 112,147 
Cusop Hill, 14, 175 
CwnTthe,?, 15,16,42,89, 169 
Cwrapelved Green, 37, 78, 132, 137, 166, 

DALLTN, CAPTAIN AND MRS., 202, 203, 225, 

Dancing* 33-4, 45-6, 83, 107, 153, 161, 171-2, 

'Dazzle* of poplar leaves, 262 

Davies family at Old Weston, 340-2 

De La Haye family, 239 

De Quetteville family, 192-3 

DC Winton, Mr., 135, 185, 235-6 

Denison, George Anthony, 227 

Derby winners, 40, 122 

Dew family, 19, 44, 45, 50, 53, 55, 115, 134-5, 

149, 194, 214, 227, 238 
DolgeUy, 123-4 
Dorc" Gallery, 158,218 
Draycott, 98, 99, 100, 229, 231 
Dreams, 87, 120, 138, 200, 278, 295 
Dulwich Picture Gallery, 158, 319 
Dursley Lanterns, 21 1 


Evans, Edward, 9, 81, 82, 160, 214 

Evans, Josiah, schoolmaster at Clyro, 28, 40, 

76, 150, 151-2, 160, 177, 228, 238 * 
Evans, Mr., boatman, 46-7 
Evans, Teddy, 40-1 


Fairies, 17, 82-3, 107, 128, 188, 220 

Ferris, Catherine, 25, 160 

Ferris, Henry Estcourt, 281-2 

Ferris, Sophy, 193-4 

Fishins, 40, 46, 114-15, 131, 150, 175, 177, 

178-9, 245, 267, 334 
Flail in use, 258 
Flying, attempt at, 280-1 
Folksongs. 12, 13,41 
Football, 149,211,263 
Fox, Dr. Charles, 149, 265-6 
Fox-hunting, 214-15 
Franco-Prussian war, 55, 67, 68, 73-4, 79-80, 


Frumenty, 301 
Fualltfarm, 151. 178 


Ghost, 278 

Giants, 18-19 

Gibbins, Mr., 75, 98, 152, 154 

Giles, Isaac, 101, 230 

Gipsies, 276 

'Gipsy Lizzie', 42, 49, 51, 75, 138, 192 

Glasbury, 109, 121-2 

Glasnant, 151, 178 

Glendower, Owen, 283, 306 

Gore family, 24, 25-6, 85-6, 117, 196, 214 

Gough, John, 207-8, 234-5 

Gwatkin, Mr. and Mrs., 181-2, 288 

Griffiths, Emma, 169-70, 196, 216 

Griffiths, Margaret, 25, 110, 179 

HAIOH ALLEN FAMILY, 44, 45, 236 
Halliday, Emma, 246, 248 
Hatliday, Lucy, 233, 273 
Handel Festival, 250 
Hare, Augustus, 87, 220 

Harmonium, the new, 268-70 

Harpers, 125-6, 130-1 

Harriers, 214 

Hatherell, Hannah and John, 120, 209, 211 

232, 245, 263, 276, 288, 295, 303 
Hay, 8,9, 10, 12, 14, 19, 20,23, 29,41,49, 50, 

Hay Bridge, 148 

Hay Castle, 9, 18, 41, 43, 54, 140, 146, 152, 

164, 184, 196, 213, 236, 345 
Hay Fairs, 24, 75, 82, 121, 168 
Haymaking, 288 
Haynes, Charlotte, 92 
Hazel, Lettice, 248-9 
'Hebe* on the swing, 292-3 
Hemans, Mrs., 128 
Hereford Hunt Ball, 159, 163 
Hereford, Lord and Lady, 89, 153 
Hereford Times, misprint hi, 150 
Herefordshire clergy, 270 
Hill, Florence, 237, 307-8 
Hockey, 211 

Hogg, James, poet, 115-16 
Holy Communion, incidents connected with, 

97, 192, 235. 243, 270, 276 
Holy Thorn at Dolfach, 324 
Hooper, Mr., Worcester lawyer, 90, 93, 95 
Hunt, Hounan, 251 
Kurd, Bishop, 91 
Hussars, 13th, 224-5 

Hutchinson, Mary (Mrs. Wordsworth), 115 
Hutchinson, Miss, 115-16, 135 

IGNATIUS, FATHER, 22, 49, 54, 70-3, 167 

Indian Mutiny, memories of, 207 

Ingelow, Jean, 108 

International Exhibition , 1 76 , 2 1 8 

Irish Mary, 179-80 

Iron paper, 156 

Irvine, Mr., curate, 195, 196,211 

Irvine, Mrs., 109, 15 1,178 


Isle of Wight, 248-51 , 289-91 


'Jack my Lord', 327, 336, 343, 344 

Jackdaws, name for Malmesbury people, 


Jacob's Ladder, 69, 76, 123 
Japanese gentlemen, 107 
JeReries, Anne, 223-4 
Jefferies, George, 192, 263-4 
Jenkins, Mrs., 321 , 336, 337 
Jenner, Sir William, 106 
Jones, Hannah, 7, 132, 148, 173 
Jones, James, 83, 89, 175, 1S4 
Jones, Mrs., 11, 12, 17,25, 108, 110, 151,216 
Jones, Mrs., of the Harbour, 110, 178 
Jones, William , 96-7 
*Jump the Broom' marriage, 153 

KATHLEEN MAVOURNEEN', 254-7, 261-2,263, 


Kendall, Mrs., actress, 176 
'Key and Bible' ordeal, 108 
Killing, Sarah, 218, 229, 280 
Kil vert, Anna, 200 
Kilvert, Edward Newton rTeddy' or 

'Perch'), diarist's brother, 43, 44, 46, 47, 

79, 90, 98, 99, 100-1, 164, 17$, 192, 252, 

273, 275, 283, 332 



Kilvert, Emily ('Emmie'), diarist's sister, 79, 
102, 167, 175 

Kilvert, Emma (Aunt Emma), 149, 264-6 

Kilvert, Frances ('Fanny'), diarist's sister, 
39, 107, 120, 144, 156, 192, 203, 206, 224, 

Kilvert, Francis, diarist's uncle, 91 

Kilvert, Maria, diarist's aunt, 90-95, 97 

Kilvert, Marianne, 9 1 

Kilvert, Rev. Robert, diarist's father, 37, 38, 
68,86-87,90-95,98, 120, 123-31, 143, 144, 
149, 150, 171, 177, 178-9, 192,212,226,232, 
243, 245, 299, 323, 327, 332, 334 

Kilvert, Sarah Dorothea Anne ('Dora'), 
diarist's sister, 38, 107, 144, 156, 167, 197, 
199, 206, 209, 217, 221 , 225, 229, 257, 268, 
273, 283-4, 296, 302, 325, 327, 329, 338, 

Kilvert.Thermuthis, diarist 'smother, 67, 86-7, 
90-96, 100, 121, 143, 144, 149, 157, 197, 
199, 205, 211, 226, 275, 279, 302, 332, 345 

Kilvert, Therm uthis f'Thersie 1 ), diarist's 
sister, 79, 144, 167, 229, 257, 272, 278-9, 
284, 306 

Kington St. Michael, 100, 116, 230, 260, 270, 
273, 280, 292 

Knight, Jacob, 246, 258, 269, 273 

Knight, James, 224, 290 

Knight, John, 156, 245, 268 

Knight, Rosamund, 245, 246, 273 

LANGLEY BURRELL, 37-9, 67-8, 98-107, 1 1 9-1 21 , 
176-7, 192-3, 197-212, 217-35, 239-58, 260- 
283, 295-9, 291-303, 308-9, 318-19, 327-30 

Langley Fitturse, 209, 229, 231 , 279, 319 

Laughing gas, 134 

Lawn tennis, 252, 253 

Lectures by the diarist, 207, 211, 343 

Lewis, Miss, 59, 61, 63 

Lind, Jenny, 92 

Little Mountain, 36, 69, 135, 140 

Little Twyny Grain, 15 

Little Wern y Pentre, 15, 26, 213 

Liverpool, 179-83 

Livingstone, Dr., 267, 272 

Llan Thomas, 8,40, 141, 145, 153, 154, 163, 
177, 238 

Llanbedr, 162, 175, 184, 259, 284 

LUnbedr Hill, 184-6, 189 

Llangollen, 130-1 

Llanshifr, 15, 18, 166 

Llanthony, 20, 22, 78 

Llanthony Abbey, 21-3, 47-8, 71 

Llowes, 161,183, 184 

Llysdinam, 10, 11, 194, 223, 260 

LKvyn Gwillim, 96, 169, 196, 216 

London, Kilvert in, 101-3, 158-9, 176, 212, 

Long, Miss, heiress of Draycot, 229-31 

Longman, Mr., publisher, 328 

Lyne, Oavering, 48-9, 54-5, 70-2 

Lyne, Miss, 48-9, 54-5 

Lyne, Mrs., 70-2 

Lyne, Rev. J. L., see Father Ignatius 

Lyttelton, Lord, 90, 97 


Mad people, 97, 132, 139-40, 148, 149, 165, 

loo, 214, 265-6 
Maesllych Castle, 84, 194 
Malmesbary Jackdaws, 273 

Manse! Grange church, 325-6 
Matthews, Dame, 205 
Matthews family, 225, 269, 297 
Memorials of a Quiet Life, 220 
Meredith, James, 323-4, 332, 343 
Meredith, John, 140, 148, 167 
Meredith, Mary, 140, 148-9, 214 
Meredith, Richard, the Land Surveyor. 12, 


Mesmerism,'] 97-9 
Moccas, 304-5, 326, 333-4, 339 
Monnington-on-Wye, 270, 283-4 
Morgan, Edward, 76, 132, 136 
Morgan, John, the old soldier, and his wife 
43, 68, 77-8, 83, 111, 119, 137-8, 152, ISO*, 

Mordaunt 'Warwickshire Scandal Case', 10 
Morrell family, 14, 20, 23, 25, 37, 43, 53, 86, 

Mothering Sunday, 113, 165, 301 
Moule, Henry, Vicar of Fordington. 239-43 
Mouse Castle, 29-31 

Murders, 15, 110, 123, 166. 168, 232, 276 
Mutual Improvement Society, 256, 263 

NAPOLEON m, 206-7 
New Barn, 148, 168-9 
New Brighton, 181-2 
Newchurch, 18, 33, 34, 36, 140 
Newman, John Henry, 299, 323 
Nobleman organ-grinder, 244 
'Normandy Kings', 18 
Nott.Mrs., 137, 169 

OAKFIELD, 19, 51 

'Old Chit Chat', 203 

Old Forest, 43, 155 

Optical illusion, 246-7 

Oswald family, 43, 44, 45, 46, 55, 141, 162 

Ouida, 86, 109 

Owl, Miss Child's, 7 

Owl, skinned by 'Perch', 164 

Ox roasted whole, 229 

Oxen ploughing, 260 

Oxford, 309-18 

PAJNCASTLE, 17, 18, 35, 108, 121, 185,284 

Paget, Lord Alfred, 103-4 

Paget, Lord George, 98 

Palmerston, Lord, 111 

Panorama, 272 

Pant-y-ci, 34, 88 

Paris, 79, 113, 123 

Parker, Captain and Mrs., 59-61, 63, 64, 65 

Parsnip wine, 245 

Parson Button, 162-3 

Peckingell, 243, 253 

Pencommon, 186, 188 

Peninsular War, memories of, 24, 43, 111 

Penny Readings, 108, 160, 215 

Pentwyn,83, 137, 175 

Peter's Pool, 19, 28 

Phillips, Anne, 111-12 

Phillips, Jane, *an evil woman', 27, 111 

Phillips, Joe, 110-11 

Picnics, 44-5, 46-7, 59-61, 62-3, 135 

Pilgrims of the Night, 13 

Plymouth Brethren, 183 

Poachers, 150 



>etry, the diarist's, 108, 163, 175, 243, 297, 

,fFae 2 n,7,55.l62 

,pe, Mr., Curate of Cusop, 19-20, 43, 50, 51, 

JiVm, 156, 176, 190,278 


.well, Lizzie, 238, 259 

well, Mrs., 88, 259 

,well, Tom, 44, 45 

ice, Abiasula, 11, 150-1 

ice, Rev. John, Vicar of Llanbedr, 184-90, 


ice, Mr., Mayor of Painscastle, 185 

ice, Mr., the keeper, 19, 160, 186 

ice, Mrs., 40, 75,96, 160,216 

ice, old William, 82, 148, 214 

ice, Priscilla, 334-5, 343 

ice, William, of the Swan, 23, 35, 48, 160 

itchard, Sammy, murder of, 110 

itehard, William, 17, 25-6 

obert, Sarah, 7, 16, 84, 148, 173 

odgers family, 280 

tck, Ouida's novel, 86, 109 

igh, William and Mary, 14, 1 18, 149 

igh, Mr., guide on Cader Idris, 124-9 

wterly Review, 10 

us, 252 

sbecca riots, 338 
as, Myra, 23-4, 39 
layader, 78, 337-8 
wsGoch, 17,19, 117, 166 
ws Goch mill. 17, 83 
ence, 149, 174, 191 
, David, monument to, 258 
f Ages, picture, 102 
jrke's Drift, battle of, 345 
jyal Academy of Art, diarist's visits to, 176, 
220, 250 

inning huntsman, 214 
issell, Ella and Jessie, 271-2 
rtal Mount, 116 

.RAHMAN'S, 318, 331,338 
mpler, verse on, 190 
ye and Sole, Lord, 325-6 
hoolfriends of the diarist, 87 
riptural misunderstandings, 147, 159, 165, 

rmons, 41, 42, 120, 134-5, 140, 144, 156. 
162-3, 195, 196, 299, 306, 308, 325, 336 
ah of Persia, 219 
g, 222 


orthand, new systems of, 189 
ating, 98-9, 100-1; wheel skates, 111 
lith, Mrs., of New Barn, 24, 39 
lith, Rev. William, 270, 283, 306 
litary, the, of Llanbedr, see Rev. John 

hairistike (lawn tennis), 252 
inning wheel in use, 193 
pints of just men', 273 
mton, Father, 316-17 
tpplng Heavenward, book, 154 
sreoscopic slides, 177 
jat in trap, 329-30 
xrks, 216-17 
Miehenge, 293-4 

Stow, 32, 79, 110 

Strange, Fanny, 253 

Suicides, 14,42, 96-7, 111-12, 148-9 

Swan Inn, 23, 25, 49. 80, 83, 216 

Sweep whipped, 216 

Sylvester, Miss, the woman frog, 137 , 

TAVENER, MARY, deaf and dumb child, 


Tavener, Polly, 253 
Tennyson, Lord, references to, 242, 255, 262, 

Thomas family, 8, 40, 43, SO, 141, 145, 147, 

Thomas, Fanny or Daisy, 49, 69, 141, 142-4, 
145-6, 147, 153, 154, 159, 161, 163-4, 165-6 

Thomas, Potty, 9, 118-19 

Tiger, story of a, 239 

Tichborne Trial, 229 

Tipsy cake, 135 

Tithe dinner, 324-5 

Toby, the diarist's cat, 83-4, 89, 133 

Tom Tobacco's grave, 185 

Tourists, 23, 60, 61 

Traditions, customs, legends, etc., 15, 17, 18, 
29, 33, 37, 38, 82-3, 84, 107, 108, 109, 110, 
119, 121, 122, 128, 137, 165, 188, 211, 214, 
215, 218, 219, 220, 235, 272-3, 279, 280-1, 
286, 291, 294, 301, 318, 321-2, 323-4, 326 


Valentines, 8, 1 On. 

Vaughan family, 34, 35, 36,42, 109, 179, 215, 
247-8, 270, 282 

Venereal disease, 239 

Venables, George, 78, 87, 147, 153 

Venables, Mrs. Henry, 154, 269 

Venables, Richard Lister, vicar of Clyro, 8, 
10, 19, 24, 28, 32, 33, 41, 49, 74, 98, 110, 
118, 133, 137, 145, 146, 149, 156, 161, 166, 
167, 168, 183, 184, 193, 194, 195,211,223, 
224, 338 

Venables, Mrs., 15, 39, 41 , 74, 75, 76, 78, 88-9, 
117, 118, 142, 143, 145, 146. 147,152,153-4, 
161, 167, 171, 173, 174, 183, 193,223,269 

Vicar's Hill, 15, 16, 17, 140, 150 

Victoria, Queen, 103-5, 219, 293 

Vincent, Frank, a young dragoon, 233, 243 

Volunteers, 111, 137, 163,345 

WALES, PRINCE OF (King Edward VH), 155-7, 

Walks in Rome, book by Augustus Hare, 87 

Wall family, 37, 69, 96, 131, 169, 195, 216 

Wall, Lucretia, 29, 131-2, 154-5, 160, 148 

Wamell, Henry, the gipsy, 23, 48 

Watkeys, Mrs., 144, 259 

Watkin, Sir, 125, 130 

Watkins, John, 15, 16 

Watkins, Mrs., 'the old madwoman*, 139-40 

Wellestey Long, 230-1 

Wellington, Duke of , 1 1 1 

Welsh high hat, 83 

Wero, 12, 16, 177 


Werny Pentre,51,l68 

Whipping post, 216-17 



, w\ w\ 

i|*| IV| 

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THOMAS WENTWORTH First Earl of Strafford 1593-1641 
A Revaluation 

JCP 1 3 135. 6d. net 

*A quarter of a century ago Miss Wedgwood delighted us with a 
biography of Strafford and she has now entirely rewritten this with 
the help of new materials not then available. The result is superb . . . 
She is wonderfully fair and leaves the tragic and vigorous story to 
speak for itself. In her pages we seem to live Stafford's life till that 
last day.' ROGER FULFORD, Evening Standard 
'No more satisfactory history of Strafford and his age is likely to 
supersede this brilliant book. The scholarship is first class, the 
character-drawing excellent, the style most distinguished.' 

CONSTANTIA MAXWELL in the Sunday Times 

*The result is an enthralling and dramatic book, written with Miss 
Wedgwood's wonted craftsmanship ... Miss Wedgwood's book will 
be read with pleasure by specialist and non-specialist alike. No one 
could fail to admire her artistry and persuasiveness, or the hoi^T J$ty of 
her attempt to rethink her subject.* 

CHRISTOPHER HILL in the Spectator 


THE FUTURE OF SOCIALISM j C pi 7 155. net 

Mr Crosland, in preparing this new edition, has found it unnecessary 
to revise the substance of the argument and has concentrated on 
shortening the book; this he has succeeded in doing without losing 
anything of importance. 

'THE FUTURE OF SOCIALISM is very good indeed. It is within its 
chosen field exhaustive, written with a professional economic, political 
and sociological equipment, and illuminated by touches of wit; the 
product of a cultivated and humane intelligence. It is a major work 
and no one must in future take part in the current and, I trust, 
growing and continuing controversy on Socialism, without having 
read it. * j OHN STRACHEY, New Statesman 

4 He eschews expediency and proclaims ethical principles for his 
politics, like the first fine Christian Socialists in the last century, or 
the late-lamented Evan Durbin in this. Secondly he has, accordingly, 
the courage of his convictions, and scant respect for the wan, worn, 
weak dogmas of British Socialism. And lastly, he is an economic 
realist who loves our humane, urbane, West European culture, who 
wishes to generalize it for modern masses, and who is inspired to 
write trenchantly and well. Tories, Liberals and men of no political 
abode should read a book into which he has put so much thought 
and courage ... his fellow-Socialists need to read it even more.' 




JCP 1 8 los. 6d. net 

Arthur Koestler has divided this volume into three parts : 'Meander- 
ings', 'Exhortations*, *Explanations'. The first two parts consist of 
important essays on literature, politics and the problems of our time. 
The third part, 'Explorations', contains a well-documented survey of 
the Soviet experiment with the conclusions to be derived from it. As 
Harold Laski wrote on its first appearance, 'nobody needs to be told 
that whatever Mr Koestler writes will be full of insight and written 
with an imaginative brilliance that cannot fail to stimulate'. 



Introduction by T. E. Lawrence 

Vol. I JCP 19 253. net 

Vol. II JCP 20 255. net 

*Were I to be asked to choose a single modern book in which the 
virtues which I most admire are exemplified, I should, I think, pick 
Doughty from the shelf.* SIR ARNOLD WILSON, Observer 

'He conveys the whole character of a land and a people and a \\ay 
of life. A parched fiery wind blows across his pages. They evoke with 
almost painful vividness dry air and a remorseless sun beating down 
on interminable sand.' MALCOLM MUGGERIDGE, Time and Tide 

OUT OF AFRICA JCPSI 135. 6d. net 

'Karen Blixen's second book her masterpiece first appeared in 
1937. She translated it from her own Danish. Sometimes she reversed 
this process, which was always a painful one. It is one of those works 
that appeal particularly to writers. It is not surprising that Heming- 
way, Laurens van der Post, Gerald Hanley and Thomas Hinde 
should have revered OUT OF AFRICA. They knew and know 
Kenya. But Malcolm Lowry, a very different sort of writer, who had 
never set foot on the ground she made so much her own, was never 
without a copy of it, wherever he found himself. The very simplicity 
of the book makes it difficult to describe. It is at once intensely 
personal and supremely objective. She identified herself with the 
green hills and blue horizons of Kenya. Her patrician spirit enabled 
her to evoke that magic landscape, its people and its animals, without 
sentimentality or proprietariness. She was there from 1913 to 1931 
and missed the subsequent confusions, but this marvellous book it 
is full of marvels can never lose its validity.* JOHN DAVENPORT 


Selections from the Diary of the Rev. Francis Kilvert, 1870-9 

Chosen, Edited and Introduced by William Plomer 

With decorations by John Piper JCP22 135. 6d. net 

This Diary, -which paints a unique picture of country life in mid- 
Victorian times, has come to be recognized as a classic: its author 
has been compared to Dorothy Wordsworth, whom he admired, and 
even to Pepys. It was kept from January 1870 until March 1879, and 
was closely written in 22 notebooks. 

'The discovery of the extensive diary of the Reverend Francis Kilvert 
some years ago added a new classic to English diary literature. The 
original selections, in three volumes, appeared under the careful and 
sympathetic editorship of William Plomer between 1938 and 1940. 
The present abridged one-volume edition with decorations by John 
Piper has been admirably prepared and selected by the same hand. 

For Kilvert fans it may serve as a travelling companion or bedside 
book; for the uninitiated it is the perfect introduction.' 

c. v. WEDGWOOD, Time and Tide 

'The best picture of quiet vicarage life in Victorian England' that has 
yet been given us.* JOHN BETJEMAN, Daily Herald 


THE WALL HAS TWO SIDES jcp2 3 133. 6d. net 

'No one can travel in China without feeling enchanted, angry, over- 
whelmed, frustrated, touched, saddened, optimistic, puzzled every- 
thing but bored. There is a prevailing opinion in the West that the 
Chinese are being threatened, brainwashed, or bludgeoned into work 
of national industrialization; that a small group of power-hungry 
Communist leaders have fastened themselves on to an unwilling and 
resentful population and are driving them fiercely forward against 
their will. I believe this picture is the very opposite of the truth.' 
So writes journalist Felix Greene of the io,ooo-mile journey he made 
through China to take a close look at her social and economic 
awakening. Visiting communes, factories, schools, hospitals, prisons 
and law courts, he talked to peasants, workers, intellectuals and civil 
servants without restraint. 

'The most valuable account since Edgar Snow exploded his Red 
Star over China twenty-five years ago.' 




JGP24 133. 6d. net 

*Theodore H. White's THE MAKING OF THE PRESIDENT, 1960 
describes the first two parts of his campaign. It is a triumph of 
political reporting. In organisation and sweep, in the selection of 
telling detail and social comment, it exceeds journalism and 
approaches literature. It is even superior to Mencken's classic of 


'His account of the final struggle is outshone by his brilliant and 
exhaustive narrative of how the two candidates won their parties' 
nomination ... he reports the course of events fully and fairly and he 
analyses the complttjitjca-efcthe American political scene with assured 
skill.' DAVID Bjj^4$**,SbnS&si Telegraph 

lS74] CHRISTMAS V2 ;-: 

Malmesbury jackdaws'. I remember hearing many years ago, I 
think among die people of Kington St. Michael, that jackdaws are 
often called in these parts 'The Parsons from Malmesbury Abbey'. 
Perhaps the grey polls of the birds may have suggested the shaven 
polls of the xncnfes, or the thievish habits of the jackdaws may have 
called to remembrance some tradition of the rapacity of the Abbot 

Thursday, Christmas Eve 

Writing Christmas letters ail the morning. In the afternoon I 
went to the Church with Dora and Teddy to put up the Christmas 
decorations. Dora has been very busy for some days past making 
the straw letters for the Christmas text. Fair Rosamund and good 
Elizabeth Knight caine to the Church to help us and worked heartily 
and well. They had made some pretty ivy knots and bunches for the 
pulpit panels and the ivy blossoms cleverly whitened with Hour 
looked just like white flowers. 

The churchwarden Jacob Knight was sitting by his sister in front 
of the roaring fire. "We were talking of the death of Major Torrens 
on the ice at Corsham pond yesterday. Speaking of people slipping 
and falling on ice the good churchwarden sagely remarked, 'Some 
do fall on their faces and some do fall on their rumps. And they as 
do hold their selves uncommon stiff do most in generally fail on 
their rumps/ 

I took old John Bryant a Christmas packet of tea and sugar and 
raisins from my Mother. The old man had covered himself almost 
entirely over in his bed to keep himself warm, like a marmot in its 
nest He said, 'If I live till New Year's Day I shall have seen ninety- 
six New Years.* He said also, *I do often see things flying about me, 
thousands and thousands of them about half the size of a large pea, 
and they are red, w r hite, blue and yellow and all colours. I asked Mr. 
Morgan w r hat they were and he said they were the spirits of just 
men made perfect.' 

Saturday, S. Stephens Day 

This morning, soon after breakfast, Lucy Halliday came up to 
ask me to go and see Hannah Williams as she was worse. I went 
immediately and found her in a sad state of suffering. The proud 
haughty beautiful face was laid low at last and flushed with pain, the 
thick black hair contrasting vividly with the white pillow as the